Twas The Night Before Christmas On A Boat

This is going to be my third Christmas aboard the Turtle since cruising south. The first two years I went back home to New Jersey, the first time to record breaking snowfall the day after Christmas…exactly why I sailed south in the first place. Christmas on a boat is just a little different than Christmas on land. Here are just a few reasons why.

Christmas lights

White Christmas…NOT!

Unless you’re one of those people who’s crazy enough to be living aboard up north this time of year (I did it for one winter, and once was enough) there’s very little chance of a white Christmas. Unless you’ve made it far enough south to have Christmas on a white sandy beach of course.

sandy beach
The beach at Buck Island in the USVIs

Christmas (Palm) Trees

Our trees are just a little bit smaller…ok a lot smaller than what most people have in their house. Maybe if you’re on a cruise ship there’s a normal sized tree. Otherwise it’s usually a small tabletop tree…or maybe just a picture of a tree…a palm tree. That first year we just went with a wreath on the table.


Are you crazy? You can’t bring presents on a boat. Never mind that there’s no room for all of them in the limited space. The paper, the tape, all of the cardboard boxes. That stuff will bring roaches and other pests aboard.

lobster tail
The best Christmas dinner

Food From The Sea

My family up north has their shrimp cocktail every Christmas Eve. I do miss that stuff, especially the extra hot cocktail sauce. But our first Christmas we had coconut shrimp instead…made with fresh shrimp that we caught ourselves just a few days before.


Landlubbers have beer and eggnog. We have beer and rum punch.

The Row…err Drive Home

I sure do miss those late nights driving home from winter parties. Getting into an ice cold car, with a cold steering wheel, and driving on roads that have frozen over. We just have to climb into the dinghy, give the engine a quick pull to start, and ride just few minutes to the next boat over.

That’s about all I can think of for now. Do any of you other pirates out there have things you can add to the list of what makes Christmas on a boat different from Christmas on land?

2 Responses to Twas The Night Before Christmas On A Boat

  1. I’m in Ohio and the weather has been unseasonably warm. No white Christmas here either. It’s dark and rainy today, I’d much rather be on that beach in that picture! You’re so lucky!

    • I wish I was on that beach too. I’m sure it’s much warmer than Ohio, but it’s pretty cloudy and windy here today too.

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