Christmas in SC

I'm spending the holidays with my parents on the red clay shores of Lake Hartwell.

There's a Christmas tradition celebrated by a certain sub population of local sportsmen that can be seen to the left.

A few weeks after Christmas, the former Christmas trees are attached to something heavy--usually a concrete block--and sunk in the waters off the shore. I suspect this tradition is shared by our friends in NY and NJ though perhaps it's not trees that they sink with their concrete blocks. Anyway...

There's a belief--well founded, I'm sure-- that the trees in the lake bottom encourage the development of fish in these spots. So fishermen will sink these trees in their favorite spots, to ensure that these spots remain good ones for years to come. Normally you'd never see the trees but with the year long drought still in progress, the lake is nearly 14 feet below it's normal level which has exposed a lot of bottom-dwelling trees.

And speaking of traditions, unfortunately my own personal holiday tradition came to an end this year.

Here's a picture, a little closer up, of those trees with their unfortunately heavy garlands.

My broken tradition is to share Christmas with my brother and his family.

For a long time he and I both lived in Georgia, about an hour apart. My parents, on the other hand, lived in NY about 16 hours away by car. So I was always at my brother's place and some years our parents would be there also and sometimes not. This year however I was with my parents and my brother and his brood chose to stay apart.

I'm making it sound dramatic but it was actually just because everyone else in the family went on a Caribbean cruise for the week or so before Christmas and were quite tired of traveling. I wasn't able to leave the lab this time of year so I opted out of the cruise ship adventure. The consequence however was that I had to chose which part of the family to visit--and since my parents live on a lake and I love to hit the water each morning on my kayak--it was an easy decision. Besides, my parents live 4 hours from me and my brother is over 6 hours away--and my mom does a lot of baking. :-)


Bob-kat said…
I wonder if the Christmas tree thing actually works? I suspect it provides underwater cover for fish.

Hope you have had a great time out on the lake and eating your mom's baking! Have a great New Year!

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