Thursday, December 22, 2011

Celebrating Christmas in an RV

It can be done! We have our tree....

We have our outside decorations....

Sparky will try and get Eldy to watch A Christmas Story again. Watching it every year is a family tradition in her family, but Eldo watched it last year and didn't care for it too much. She'll watch it anyway. Sparky's second favorite is It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart, or for another more modern one, The Grinch, starring Jim Carrey.

We've baked some cookies....but not the kind Grandma and my mom used to make...(Sigh! says E.) I think he is having Christmas cookie withdrawals about now...Sparky is sighing, too, because she used to make roll out ginger spice molasses cookies from a recipe that HER mom and her grandma made, with homemade buttercream icing, those were in the good old days.....We could still do that, but there's just not much counter space and it's so messy, and guess who would consume all the cookies with no family around!? US! (Glad you said both of us! says E.) Yep, I'm worse than he is about devouring freshly made cookies......I went looking for the recipe and here it is, in case anybody wants to bake up a storm! By printing it, I'm saving it for posterity. (Oh, and I thought you were saving it to make me some, fusses E.) Sigh!   I know, I'll make the dough and you can roll them out, sweetie! THAT'S the hard, messy part!

Grandma B.'s Molasses Cookies:
1 cup of white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 cup of unsalted butter
1 egg       Cream sugars, butter and egg together...Add 6 TBS. molasses
Blend in 1 tsp. ground cloves, 3/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together 2 1/4 cups of flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1 1/2 t. baking soda....add  to creamed sugar/butter mixture until well blended. Divide dough into thirds. Refridgerate 2/3 dough until ready to use. Roll out 1/3 dough mix on a floured countertop or table top to 1/4" thickness. Cut out with your favorite cookie cutter shapes. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake 350 degrees for about 8-10 min. for soft cookies. 

There are a lot of variations on this recipe, this just happens to be the one my family used every year.

Another tradition I had with my girls was to take them to see the Christmas lights every Christmas Eve..We'd drive to a subdivision in Mishawaka, IN, called Winding Brook. They had terrific light displays with luminaries winding the streets, street after street...fully animated light displays, houses completely decorated from the ground to the rooftops. It was terrific! We'd play Christmas music in the car and "ooooh" and "ahhhhhhh" while driving all around the neighborhood.  Eldy and I thought about taking the Naples trolley tour Christmas Eve to see the lights of some really swanky neighborhoods in Naples, but they wanted TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS A PERSON to see the lights! I don't think so! FIFTY bucks a couple???? That's ridiculous! I know something we could do!...We could find out what time the trolley lights tour leaves and then tail them! (E. admonishes, "Sparky, you've been watching too many CSI shows!")  Ok, we won't tail them...Instead, we'll show you some beautiful lights from all around the country, courtesy of MSN. I made a collage of my favorites......I'm sure there are many more elaborate ones, than these, but these sure have the spirit!

There are as many ways to celebrate Christmas as there are when you were "back home". Some RVers donate their time and money that would have been spent on gifts to donating time and money to charitable organizations in their current location. One of my girls' favorite memories was the time we decided to buy presents for a needy family from my school and then we wrapped and delivered them to them. The girls still remember that. Some RVers fly back home to spend time with family. Some participate in local parks' celebrations of dinners and get togethers. Christmas is whatever you would like it to be--a time to reflect and be thankful for your blessings, a time to share your gifts and talents with others, a time to be with your significant other, a time to be with family if you can.....

We'll call our families on Christmas Day, maybe Skype with our kids, in Eldy's case, use FaceTalk on his iphone with his children and grandchildren. Eldy and I don't exchange Christmas presents, (Eldo keeps saying he has to got Christmas shopping--BUT IT BETTER NOT BE FOR ME!) our present to each other is the motorhome for the next ten years! :-) It will be a quiet day, which got us to wondering...

If you are full timing in a motorhome, do you have traditions you've started if you are in your RV? How do you spend your Christmas Day and make it meaningful for you? We'd love to know.....Thanks for sharing......


  1. I enjoyed reading this a lot. Since I am not in an RV, I guess I don't have any answers, but I do know that the times we are traveling on Christmas I enjoy it thoroughly. But I also make sure that we can be home sometimes as well. This is a home year, but the sentiments that you wrote about are relevant whether your home has wheels full time or just part time. Thanks

  2. Christmas is what one makes of it ... in spirit and in person :-))))

  3. Looks like you are all set for an RV Christmas. Doesn't that sound like a good title for a cute movie??

  4. Your Christmas lights photos are the best, very pretty! Not really any traditions here yet. We have the day off (volunteering at Fort Frederica National Monument this month) and are thinking about exploring Jekyll Island for the day. For me, I am happy spending the day with Ellen and doing the things that we enjoy together.


  5. Since we began to travel three years ago, Paul and I have not been together on Christmas day. I don't like this but he doesn't want to fly back to snowy Ohio. Our two girls are with me and I stay with my dad. We will Skype him on Christmas day. I hid a present in the MH. We will watch him open it via Skype.
    I agree $25 is RIDICULOUS!
    Wishing you a Blessed and Merry Christmas.