Hey, I’m tempted, but at least one day a year has to be invested in the interests of domestic tranquility. An essayist in the New York Times, being of the Hebrew persuasion, mentions how he wanted to have a little tradition, since he had the day off anyway. He and his family started going on hikes. They live in Portland, Maine. Here’s what they saw one year on a beach hike:

The problem with the Christmas Day hike was … snow. The stuff wasn’t all that fun to slog through, when it was really, really cold. So the next year we broadened the definition of hike and headed to Higgins, a beach just south of Portland. No waterfall, of course, but there was a shipwreck — the ribs of a boat beached long ago — which we could see, given that the tide was in our favor.

The ship was the expected pleasure of the trip, that and a beautiful expanse of uninterrupted sand, abutting a road lined with shingled summer homes. They seemed, in their even placement along the beach road, bleak but noble sentinels guarding our walk.

The surfers were the unexpected pleasure. But there they were, the lunatics, out on the barely cresting waves, the sun reflecting so brightly off the water that we could scarcely make them out. One man, suiting up outside his surfboard-laden car, stopped and answered our questions.

“Cold?” he said, apparently puzzled, exercise having made him dotty. “It’s a great workout!”

See, if I could be anything else, I’d be a surfer.