The One Where Santa Finds Our Boat

Yesterday we celebrated our 3rd Christmas aboard Light & Salty.

Key West 2020
Fort Myers 2021
Panama City Beach 2022

Everyone always wants to know what it’s like to celebrate while living on a boat with kids. While everything looks different than when we lived in house, we’ve managed to carry on many of our traditions. While we get a lot of questions every December, hands down, the most asked questions involve Santa.

Does Santa come to your boat? HOW does Santa come to your boat? How does he find your boat every year?

(I should point out, all of these questions are asked by adults. Trust me when I say, the magic of Christmas is alive and well.)

For those who haven’t gotten a chance to ask us in person, here are the answers:

Does Santa come to your boat? Absolutely!

HOW does Santa come to your boat? No chimney, no problem! We’re pretty sure Santa just uses the door. We have a fairly large roof that accommodates the sleigh nicely. Although this year we all felt a pretty significant wake late in the night. Everyone agrees Santa might have made a water landing to deliver gifts. On a completely random and totally unrelated topic, our master bed has a huge storage space under the mattress.

How does he find your boat every year? Light & Salty has an AIS device on our Garmin navigational plotter. The AIS sends out our global positioning to other boats. Santa’s sleigh also comes aquipt with the navigational tools to see all boat kids on AIS.

As I spend time today cleaning up the chaos of yesterday, I can’t help wondering if this was our last Christmas with a believer on board. It won’t matter, Santa will continue to visit no matter what!

Here are some other FAQ’s we receive with regards to Christmas on a boat…

Where do you store your decorations? Unfortunately, all of our “real” Christmas decorations are buried in the very back of our storage unit. Our first year onboard we invested in some very simple, boat-size decorations. And we went crazy with outdoor lights and the huge blow up decoration Miller always wanted for our yard. We’ve been able to store our decorations in the storage unit from January through October (roughly) before putting them on the boat.

Can you bake Christmas cookies on the boat? Yep. We can fit about 8 cookies at a time in the convection oven. It takes longer, but the cookies taste even better.

What do you do about church? Our first Christmas on the boat was in 2020 and we decided to watch our Charlotte Church, Southbrook, online. Last year in Fort Myers we had friends join us at the church we’d recently started attending. This year we rounded up a crew from our marina and headed over to a new-to-us church in the area.

What other traditions are the same on a boat? Just about everything is the same- maybe just smaller scale. We still decorate gingerbread houses. Our kiddos still talk us into Christmas movies almost every night in December. We even managed to bring back the Hibachi Christmas Eve dinner this year! Of course, we do miss all of our Charlotte friends. It isn’t the same. But it’s special, nevertheless.

Honestly, after 3 years, celebrating Christmas on a boat doesn’t feel novel anymore. It just feels normal to our family. We’re making memories and cherishing every second of it.

Oh, and this year we had an extra special visitor on Christmas Eve…the Tooth Fairy! Yes, she makes the rounds too.

As always, thanks for following along on our crazy little adventure. If you have more Christmas questions, feel free to put them in the comment section. Otherwise, you might also enjoy reading:

Holidays on a Boat

Unexpected Things We Use on a Boat

Halloween on a Barge

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