A Family Tradition – Christmas Eve Beach Sunsets

We’ve been watching the sunset on Christmas Eve from the Huntington Beach pier since I was about 8 years old. Like any tradition, I’m not quite sure how this one has endured.
I hold this family tradition very close to my heart and I use it as a sort of New Year resolution. I ponder the year that has passed since our last visit and I daydream about the year to come.
Every year we walk to the end of the pier, breathe in the fresh saltwater air, feel the chill in the air and watch the sun dip below Catalina Island. The motion of the waves and the quiet in the air is very cathartic; a perfect place to reflect.
Although I have pictures of every Christmas Eve sunset from the Huntington Beach pier since our very first visit, I can only share the pictures from when I got a digital camera.
2006 – I’m pregnant with my first child and due in 2 days. I’m terrified. So terrified in fact that I’m numb.
2007 – My oldest and I. He’s just about to turn 1 year’s old. We’ve had a life changing year with lots of growing. We are living in a tiny 2 bedroom condo in Fullerton California. I had gone back to CSUF to finish up my Bachelors degree and he wasn’t quite walking yet. He would start within a few weeks.


2008 – I don’t have a picture for the 2008 Christmas Eve sunset because we didn’t go this year. The lack of a picture speaks volumes as to how hard it has been to uphold this tradition of ours. It’s not so easy to pack up a sick baby in the cold salt air to watch the sunset.
We’re still in the condo in Fullerton, but we’ve been house hunting and we put in an offer on a house we love in the Inland Empire. We’re hoping to move soon.


2009 – I’m pregnant and we don’t know the sex of the baby yet. I’m hoping for a girl, a girl I would name Aurora and the clouds in the sunset are my clue that my wish would come true. But of course, we didn’t name her Aurora after all.
We moved into our house in the Inland Empire, we got a dog and a mortgage and a load of responsibility  Life was good.

2010 – My daughter and I. She was just 4 months old and the cutest, happiest baby I’d ever seen. The birth of my daughter brought a softness to our family. And a whole lot of the color pink.

2011 – I’m pregnant with my 3rd child. I started blogging again in the spring of this year, my personal life has been enriched 10,000%. I’m happier and more fulfilled than I ever thought I could be and I look out on the water hopeful and confident in all of the future possibilities. We’re happy to welcome another baby to the family, quite possibly the completion of our family.

2012 – This was the first year that my daughter walked on her own and this was the first year I didn’t reflect or ponder or daydream. This year instead, I kept an eagle eye on her to ensure she didn’t fly overboard and go for a Christmas eve swim in the ocean. This was the most stressful year yet.

Keeping up with this tradition is difficult and requires a lot of effort. But in doing so, makes it so worth it.


  1. Jasmine Forte says

    I love this!!!! Where does the time go? These kids are just growing up way too fast! Stop it already!!!

  2. Heather says

    Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)gmail.com

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