Today is Boxing Day. A national holiday in England. It is the traditional Christmas celebration day for the staff of English country houses who had to work on Christmas.
Yesterday was Christmas. We had three ships in port. We had no staff in so Martin and I opened the museum. We ran three cruise ship tours and had just over 80 visitors through the building. We had a very interesting mix of tourists in and I enjoy getting to talk to people and see what attracts them to the museum. I rarely do the cruise ship tours anymore. One of the successes here has been that after designing and writing up our current 45 minute cruise ship excursion tour I have been able to train staff to handle it very effectively. Lina, one of the girls on staff has become one of the most engaging tour guides on the island and we are getting excellent reviews and everyone is happy.
We finally finally closed around 5:00 and went home to make Christmas dinner. Deneen was thinking we were going to have a nice evening together, but surprise! I brought guests home who then stayed to watch movies long into the evening.
It is hard separating my life here and their life here. I don't really think about it, but my relationships with people here have continued and have typically grown while Deneen and the boys now only get plugged in to these relationships sporadically. Martin even made a snide comment about my "other children" the other day. Just in jest, but it made me think about how life changes and how people come and go along your path. I practice a life theory where I don't believe that I can change the world, but I believe I can have a positive effect on the lives of the people who come across my path.
Deneen and the boys are amazing people and have an unbelievable ability to be loving and accepting. Deneen, especially, is unconditional in her willingness to continually put other people's needs in front of her own. And if she is not always happy about it, I am the only person who ever sees that she is not.
I thought Christmas this year was kind of small, busy, and we really did not really have any presents. But in the end, as I write this, I realise that I got the best gift I could ever get. I got the best wife and family in the world.
When I left for the museum this morning, all Deneen said was, "No surprises today."