Early the Saturday morning after school let out, my mother would bundle me into the back seat of the car and we would hit the road.
Since we started our journey in Minnesota, the temperature was always below freezing. Of course my dad would have started the car ten minutes earlier so the inside was beginning to warm, but a chill still clung to the vinyl.
My heart would beat a little faster as he backed out of the driveway. In three days we’d be surrounded by sunshine and palm trees. I couldn’t wait. I'd usually spend the first two days of on the road with my nose buried in one of the nine or ten library books I'd brought along, but at the beginning of day three, we'd hit the Florida border and I'd peer out the window, eager for my first glimpse of a palm tree.
I have lots of memories of those road trips. I don’t remember much about the rest of the year, but those two weeks, especially the drive down to Florida, those days are vividly etched in my mind.
So, this year, I decided to share my warm weather Christmas tradition with my daughter. As I write this, we’re poolside on Sanibel Island, Florida, surrounded by palm trees wrapped in Christmas lights.
We’ve seen dolphins frolicking, gone kayaking through the island’s nature preserve, and spent hours on the beach. The island will be packed with tourists a month from now. For the moment, it seems as if we have it to ourselves.
Do you have a special family Christmas tradition you've passed down to the next generation that you can share with us?