Zero To Christmas In 24 Hours

We arrived back aboard EXIT after dinner on December 23rd. It was nice to be back to our home-away-from-home, though I think we were all a bit strung out after Walt Disney World, a great visit with Mormor (Linda’s Mom), and the 6+ hour drive back from Fort Lauderdale. As soon as we unpacked the car, the kids started in on some gingerbread house kits that Linda and Mormor had found:

Gingerbread construction underway.

Gingerbread construction underway.

We had done a bit of advance work: I had previously tracked down Willy’s Products, a Scandinavian food store in Fort Lauderdale, and a visit to their not-terribly-promising-looking, light-industrial, mostly-ecommerce location was one of our outings with Mormor while in South Florida. Turns out that we were able to procure, among other key Danish Christmas items: Curried herring, rød kol (red cabbage), ginger snaps, and candy as a prize for the almond-in-the-rice-pudding game.

Linda and Mormor in the retail back room of Willy’s Products.

Linda and Mormor in the retail back room of Willy’s Products.

On Christmas Eve, Linda shopped for the remaining ingredients for a semi-traditional Danish dinner of Frikadeller (meatballs), red cabbage, cucumber salad, potatoes, while the kids and I worked on decorations. Turns out that there are some great deals to be had when you’re doing your shopping on the afternoon of December 24. We found a tree at 50% off from the local Ace Hardware, and some clearance stockings from a local souvenir shop window display. Linda had brought some ornaments from home and we’d ordered a voltage regulator from Amazon that let us step down the boat’s 12v outlet to the 3.5v needed for some LED Christmas lights. We lopped of the top 45″ of the tree (all that would fit inside the cabin) and Macgyvered a stand out of a cardboard box, some winch handles (for ballast), a tupperware container with a turkey-baster filling tube to hold the sugar water, and lots of duct tape (Soren kept quoting The Martian).

Winch handles and Tupperware.

Winch-handles and Tupperware.

Fully Macgyvered stand.

Fully Macgyvered tree stand.

Though we were missing being with family and friends, it ended up being pretty hyggelit (a Danish word, pronounced hoo-guh-lee, that roughly translates to “cosy togetherness”):

Setting the table for dinner.

Setting the table for dinner. NB the sea star that Elsa found for the top of the tree.

Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner.


Aftermath… Post-dinner, dessert and carols, we opened presents on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning breakfast (post-stockings).

Christmas morning breakfast (post-stockings) of æbleskiver (Danish pancakes) and fried apples.

Christmas Day “Dunch” (between lunch and dinner) featuring crowns from some Christmas crackers that Elsa found in Charleston.

Christmas Day “Dunch” (between lunch and dinner) featuring crowns from some Christmas crackers that Elsa found in Charleston.

Boxing Day viewing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”


  1. Merry merry!

  2. Merry Christmas from Quito, Ecuador! We’re visiting Natalie’s family here. It looks like a very cozy Christmas on Exit. Nice job with the tree! Where are you headed next?

  3. love it – how festive and great post! love the star and the last minuteness of things…miss that here…

  4. Merry last-minute Christmas preparations! Looks like the way to go. How wonderful to have Mormor with you and to celebrate Danish style. Loved that experience at our Williams 2008 family reunion in OR. Question: did you receive the package I sent to N. Fort Lauderdale? Let me know if not. Love. Joy. Peace and Happy Sailing!!! Mindy

  5. To you four very resourceful peeps! It appears you did not miss a beat .. well, missing family and friends perhaps and maybe a fireplace to hang “your stockings with care”, but your tree is a great creation, the gingerbread houses are fabulous, your finding several Danish foods, your having English crackers.. this Nana applauds your very thoughtful Christmas and thanks you for sharing the terrific photos. We missed you over the holidays of course but phone calls and your blog help us miss you a little less. Now on to very smooth sailing in 2016!! ❤️Mom/Nana/Janie

  6. We had an early Christmas present seeing you all in Orlando! So glad it worked out and thank you for all your Disney and Universal tips. Love WAIT

  7. Merry Christmas to you all!! What an amazing adventure. Love reading about your trip! Love from the Cases xoxo

  8. Katell JENTREAU

    December 31, 2015 at 14:30

    This is so cool, glad you had a lovely Christmas on the boat!! Love the gingerbread house and the homemade movie screen – you never disappoint !

    Lots of love and good wishes from California!

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