We started the morning with a peek outside and discovered the city had been transformed into a winter wonderland overnight. A few inches of snow covered everything, and the bare branches of trees wore a blanket of white. Since we didn't have to trudge through the cold to work, it was a beautiful sight and just the thing to get us in the holiday mindset. We turned on the Christmas tunes and made chocolate-chip pancakes, a weekly tradition in my family (Dad, I'm getting better, but my pancakes are still not as good as yours!).
|The view from our back porch|
|Our building's courtyard|
|The last of the batter = one big pancake|
If you need a little Christmas cheer, here's the playlist of my homemade Christmas CD, compiled by my dad a few years ago and lovingly entitled "Coming Home For Christmas." It has a handwritten note on the cover list that reads "Can't Wait 'til You're Home. Dad," and the songs always return me to time in Kansas with the family, decorating the tree, eating Christmas cookies, and opening gifts.
1) Celebrate Me Home (Loggins)
2) White Christmas (Crosby)
3) Silent Night (Crosby)
4) It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas (Crosby)
5) I'll Be Home for Christmas (Crosby)
6) Christmas Song (Nat King Cole)
7) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Chicago)
8) Medley: Jolly Old St. Nicholas (Ray Conniff)
9) Medley: Let It Snow (Ray Conniff)
10) Linus and Lucy (Vince Guaraldi)
11) Christmas Time is Here (Vince Guaraldi)
12) March (Nutcracker)
13) Christ the King (Fogelberg)
14) Ave Maria (Kenny G)
15) Auld Lang Syne (Kenny G)
16) Christmas Memories (Sinatra)
After a little shopping on Amazon (love gift cards to buy all the books I want - lots of writing related ones this time around!) and a little Christmas card ordering (ordered on Snapfish to be picked up at Walgreens and they were ready within a couple hours!), we headed out to Marshall's and Michael's for some decorations. About $100 later, we had stockings, a tree skirt, tablecloth, striped ribbon, an angel tree-topper, a nutcracker, garland, a wreath, and lights. Next stop was Home Depot, but the inventory of artificial trees was picked over... nothing in the size and price range we were looking for. So it was decided... we would get a real tree!
|The Christmas tree lot|
|The view from the parking garage at the shopping center|
We headed home for some food to refuel and then went to the little school parking lot across the street that has been transformed into a Christmas tree lot. It is the same place my roommates and I would go for our tree so it felt like a tradition to me. We picked out a beautiful, well-proportioned tree, just right for the space we had. Real trees require watering and dealing with needles, but the smell truly fills a home with the scent of the holidays.
With the addition of some ornaments and other small decorations we already had on hand, our main living/dining room is now ready for Christmas. We sat back and admired the twinkling lights, and it finally felt like Christmas is near.