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It's a Long Shot II
43ft Hans Christian Ketch
Thank You Santa
25 December 2012
We started Christmas day at the crack of dawn as usual with the kids opening the gifts they had bought each other. We now have nerf guns half the size of this boat so I don't know where we are going to stow them when we get underway. They now shoot their bullets from one end of the boat to the other. Saylor is on cloud nine now that Santa brought here a doll. She is eager to dress it as fashionably as she is and the girls on the dock were making more outfits for it already. Charlie has a helicopter with many hours flying time already (Santa, where will we put this thing?) and Riley has a compound bow and (had) three arrows - he lost one when he fired it from the playground and it bounced off a tree and hit a boat 100 metres away. Everyone who knows Riley is now asking how on earth Santa could bring Stumblebum a weapon - we are living on the edge. Doug had a ball buying for me and cleaned out all of the local charity shops. I have to admit I'm absolutely thrilled with everything he bought. The highlight was receiving earrings and a necklace. I had tried them on at a shop when I was out with Liz - then Liz had them set aside and told Doug to go buy them. Now that's a handy girlfriend to have around! Doug was equally spoiled and loves his portable hard drive and memory stick as yachties spend a great deal of time swapping movies and pictures.

At 11 we joined 16 others in the Marina Office (given it was stormy and raining) with champagne and orange juice and many canapes. Doug led the gift exchange as per Zenert tradition and it took no time at all for gift stealing to occur. Very interesting to see what the hot item was given that we are all cruisers: a dustpan, clothespins (plastic non-rusting) and rubber gloves. We didn't know most of the people there as we are new to the cruising scene, but everyone came to thank us for organizing it and want it to continue in the future. I was most impressed that Pacific Bliss had made caroling song books for everyone and we sang a few songs together.

We headed to Pacific Bliss for our final gift opening where the stipulation was the gift had to be made or purchased second hand. I'm sure we all took extreme delight in seeing the look on the face of the receiver and it was so worth it. We had made most of our gifts and they completely hit the mark! There were squeals of laughter to see Doug wearing his red knitted knickers that Liz had created and Liz was over the moon with her coconut shell lantern Doug made and the hemp plaited mat I built. The gift I received was so incredible I was in tears. From the first day I met Liz I was envious of her beautiful necklace. Every cruiser who passes through French Polynesia or the Northern Cooks purchase (or are given) black pearls. If we hadn't been blown off our mooring in the middle of the night, we would have purchased some too. Yesterday Liz gave me a pearl necklace, that Colin had made, to match hers. The level of generosity this family has shown us is beyond anything I can put into words. We then sat down to home made crackers and the most incredible meal ever produced, from the NZ lamb down to the five dishes of vegetables. Thankfully everyone was so stuffed no one was able to eat any of the Christmas baking I made for dessert (I'm not the chef that Liz is!). We stayed up until the wee hours of the night with alcohol induced campfire style sing-along. For this Christmas, I wouldn't have changed a thing!
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