One of my all-time favorite Christmases took place a few years ago in Port Townsend, Washington. Travel Buddy and I traveled up there to spend the holidays with family.
First of all, Port Townsend is a beautifully situated town on Puget Sound, across from Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula. It has many Victorian homes, and with the coldness, snow on the ground, and Christmas decor all around, it is just gorgeous. Certainly it went a long way towards keeping our spirits bright!
We stayed upstairs in a beautifully decorated inn, with kitchen en suite. We quickly unpacked all our bags as we had brought wrapping paper, tissue, and stockings with us (not knowing what would be available in this small town) but planned on making all our purchases (well, most of them) on Water Street, downtown. It was amazing to hunt for gifts by just strolling through the shops at our leisure, with no thought as to time or constraints of any kind. The items in the mostly specialty stores were different than what we were used to seeing back home, which made the overall shopping experience even more delightful.
Our family cooked Christmas dinner, which was absolutely wonderful and tasty…the chef even picked some fresh rosemary from a bush in the neighborhood to properly season the meal.
One of the evenings we were there, we arranged with the inn to set up a table for us upstairs in the hall, where our family quickly established a rousing, highly enthusiastic poker game, complete with egg nog, meats, cheeses, salty snacks, and candy. We wanted for nothing!
This particular Christmas was perfect: just relaxing and quiet…all the best of the Christmas holidays without the trappings of decorating, clean up, stress of visitors, or doing anything we didn’t feel like doing. Pure bliss. We’d do it all again in a heartbeat, but luckily the memories are enough to remind us of it all.