Christmas.

Spending the holidays away from the Northeast always gives me a bit of anxiety. I cling to what’s familiar, maybe too tightly. Christmases in Connecticut feel like a world away from the unbridled sunshine and briny sea air we had last week in Jamaica. While I drag my feet to entertain ideas of Christmas anywhere without snow, strong wind gusts and real Christmas trees, on Tuesday, I was poolside at our favorite villa before the rest of the family was awake. Surrounded by the bright, hot sun, we celebrated Christmas with lots of love, laughs, sunscreen, good food, an entire villa family meal and ended the evening with rousing card games. The rest of the trip was equally fantastic. How could it be anything else, with homemade traditional Jamaican fare for each meal, fresh fruit from the trees in the front yard with breakfast, mint tea brewed with mint leaves from the back of the villa, and waves crashing just a short walk away. Perfection doesn’t fully describe the glorious end to this year.