For Christmas one year, before we had kids, we decided that it would be fun to go camping. There’d been a snow storm a few days before, but we figured if we threw in every blanket we had, we’d be fine. It was just one night.
We packed and planned tree decorations that we could put up and leave up for the animals to eat. We brought our hot water bottles for our feet, blankets, our wrapped presents, dinner, breakfast, wassail, hot cocoa, the whole kit in a caboodle! The car was stuffed with everything warm we owned and on Christmas Eve we headed off up Gold Gulch canyon to find our spot and start the magic.
At the time we were driving our beloved little white Geo Metro. That car took us on more adventures than you’d imagine! We bumped and slid around until we found a spot we wanted to check out. We pulled off the road into what we thought was a field covered in snow, but it was a wash. The car bogged down in the snow and the sand and got stuck. Oops. “I guess we’re camping here!” We just laughed and shrugged and figured we’d dig it out the next day.
We’d had cloud cover all day and the few days preceding, so it was cold, but the clouds kept things from being frigid. Well, about 8pm the clouds cleared, and the temperature started to drop fast. We couldn’t keep our fire going strong and used up all the wood we brought and all the dry wood we could find nearby. That fire did not want to stay lit! And we’re pyros! Fire is not normally a problem for us.
We made our dinner and cocoa, filled our hot water bottles (you know, the rubber rectangular kind, no the drinking kind), and climbed in our nest of blankets in our tent at around 10pm. And Cameron knocked off to sleep fast. I laid there and got colder and colder and colder. The hot water bottle couldn’t keep up with the cold and it lost all it’s heat fast. Finally, after lying awake for what felt like 5-6 hours I woke Cameron up and told him I was freezing. We decided to check the time and if it was close to sunrise we’d stick it out.
It was only almost 1 AM.
And 9 degrees.
We got up, wadded up our tent with everything still inside and threw it in the car. The snow and ground was so frozen the car just popped right out without any effort and we drove home. We down copious amounts of hot cocoa, took hot showers, and hopped under our electric blanket to thaw out. I’ve never been so cold to the core before!
We slept until 10 that morning and had the best Christmas day after that. I finished the stockings I hadn’t had a chance to finish before we left for camping, we had a yummy brunch, and finally got to our presents around 2pm!
Someday, when the kids are older, we want to try Christmas camping again. But maybe we’ll go to southern AZ where it’s way less likely to be that cold! Even with the cold though, this is one of our very favorite Christmas memories!!
What’s one of your favorite Christmas memories?