I’ve been busy at work these past weeks and have worked beyond my self-imposed boundaries. Now that Christmas is here, I feel light, and this weekend, I feel a sense of, ahhhh for the first time in a while. I’m leading a book club next week, which I’m excited about, and also, everything slows down for the holidays, thankfully. Plus, I remembered I have to pace myself — if I push too hard, I’ll hit a wall, just like I used to do in cycling or triathlon until I learned my lesson. For endurance events, you have to nourish yourself, get good rest, and push at a pace you can sustain for a long time or else you’ll be miserable and suffer. At least that’s true for me.
Christmas is this week and I am excited to slow down and enjoy it. We cut a bigger than ever Christmas tree this year to help make up for 2020 and the fact that we won’t be able to go to Florida to see family we haven’t seen now in two years. Every year at the Christmas tree farm, our son pushes for a taller tree. Two years ago it was seven feet. Last year it was eight. This year we got a nine-footer.
The tree is beautiful with its white lights and glittery silver and rose gold ornaments. It draws all of us into the living room to sit quietly and do our various solitary things. Last night I built a fire, and our teenage kids and I all sat in the room with the fire and the tree, them with their earbuds in playing on their phones, me listening to Christmas jazz through the big speakers, also playing on my phone. A friend told me about the Pangram game, which I currently pop onto whenever I’m waiting for a pan to heat up to fry something, or when I’m waiting for water to boil for coffee, or when I’m sitting by the fire in the living room drinking wine, with my kids nearby and cats snuggled up with them.
We weren’t able to get tart cherries to make a cherry pie for Thanksgiving, so I’ve kept cherries on my grocery list these past three weeks to make one at Christmas. But nobody has cherries. None of the Krogers or Food Lions in our town or the next town over, not Aldi, not Target, not even Wal-mart. Not the health food store, not the world market. 😭. I checked online, and unless I want to pay $40 for four cans of sour cherries, it looks like we won’t have a cherry pie at Christmas either. Our mouths are watering for cherry pie — so red and Christmassy and sweet and tart and delicious — I am at a loss for what to make instead. I mean, I’ll certainly make pecan pie, but I’m the only one in our household who cares about that. I guess it’ll be another apple pie, like Thanksgiving.
We’ve made several rounds of cookies, and we’ve already eaten them all. We made snowballs, then peanut butter blossoms, then our daughter made gingerbread cutouts and iced them. All were gone within two days of making them. My mom sent more snowball cookies, and we ate those within a day too. So here we are five days out from Christmas and we have no cookies. I should fix that today. I want something different, so I’m not sure yet what to make. Shortbread? Snickerdoodles? Something almondy? I kind of want something almondy.
It’s overcast out, and there were snowflakes on the back deck this morning when I looked out. Just a few. They’re gone now, but it reminded me to check the weather. Every year we hope for a white Christmas, and every year we are foiled. This year we might actually have a chance. A winter storm is forecast to enter our area on Christmas Eve. Two days ago, there was a 30% chance of snow showers on Christmas, then yesterday it was up to 40%, and today it’s up to 50%. Of course, last week when we were expecting 3-5 inches, we got a sheet of sleety ice instead. I know better than to get my hopes up, but my hopes are up.
Anyhoo, I just wanted to say hi since I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. I hope you are all well and can take a moment to slow down. Tomorrow is the shortest day, and then there is hope again as every day after brings more light.