For years, I went to my parents’ house for Christmas, although sometimes I’d stay at home here on the island. Christmas Day on Hatteras is a time of indescribable peace, quiet and hardly any traffic. There’s no feeling like it any other day of the year. Most transplants leave and travel to be with families elsewhere. The beaches are nearly empty and it would seem those still here have the entire place to themselves.
Combing the beaches on Christmas Day I’ve found a traditional symbol of the time, what I’d call makeshift Christmas trees. Whenever I see them they touch my heart and, I photograph them.
Christmas Day of 2018 this undecorated tree stood out on an empty beach.
On Christmas Day of 2019, I was happy to see this naturally decorated one. They’re always anonymous and delightful to see.