Despite my fears that Newport Beach could not possibly feel Christmasy -
I am having a holly jolly time this holiday season.
Last weekend was the 103rd Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.
I have been looking forward to it since the 4th of July Parade.
This years theme was "Feelin' Christmas-Sea in Newport Beach."
I have never seen anything like it.
It is hailed as one of "the top ten holiday happenings in the nation" by the New York Times.
And lucky us - it happens just down the street.
Who needs a white Christmas?
The parade runs for 5 days and the harbor was packed.
We went on Friday - but by Saturday Balboa Island was literally over flowing with cars.
There simply wasn't enough room.
Our bishop hosted an open house at his home on Lido Island.
We were able to indulge in some holiday cheer at his family's home
and then walk to the pier to watch the boats go by.
It is times like these that I feel so blessed to be a member of the LDS faith.
Being away from my family during the holidays can be hard.
I have spent many hours worrying about
how I would feel my first Christmas away from the Staples family tree
and neighborhood Christmas program.
But snuggling in next to the fireplace at my bishops house made me feel like I was home for the holidays.
I am so sad I didn't snap a picture of me and James.
I even wore a beanie and coat.
It was a "chilly" 50 degrees at night and although the air wasn't crisp
my attire made it feel like winter.
As we sipped hot cider on the pier I whispered to James that
no matter where we live we will find our family traditions.
This was something new for both of us but it felt like a Christmas tradition nonetheless.
And although we have no idea where we will be long term -
this is something I could see myself attending year-after-year.
It made me feel absolutely "Christmas-Sea!"