You've probably noticed, but December is almost half over, and the Winter holidays are coming up fast; Hanukkah starts tonight, the Winter Solstice is in a little over a week, and Christmas Day is less than two weeks away now.
We don't celebrate Hanukkah, but we do celebrate both the Winter Solstice and Christmas. As usual, we aren't doing very much to celebrate either of the Winter holidays we celebrate, though we'll at least do something to acknowledge both.
We plan to have something nice to eat to celebrate the Winter Solstice, and make sure we have some nice nibbles - cakes, biscuits, chocolate, oranges, and some savoury nibbles like cheese and crackers and the like - available to have on Christmas Day between phonecalls to various people, and then cook our Christmas dinner on Boxing Day, like we always do. I'll also do the meditation ritual I do for the Winter Solstice, and will spend Christmas eve watching holiday movies and reading Christmasy books, especially since I have a bit of a tradition of watching "Santa Clause - The Movie" and reading "The Bear Father Christmas Forgot" each Christmas Eve (usually while enjoying hot cocoa and some kind of tasty snack). But that's about it for our plans.
No, we aren't spending Christmas with family. We call many of them to say, "Merry Christmas," and have a little chat on the day - those are the above mentioned phonecalls - but we won't actually see any of them. It will just be me, Kelly, Lilie, Joshua, Mollie, and Maizie. This will be Lilie's first Christmas. I wonder what she'll make of it?
Our holiday shopping is done, apart from some of the food items that need to be brought closer to the day, and some of what we're buying for each other (because that's waiting until after the holidays are over). Most importantly, the presents and cards we're sending to various family members and friends - and their pets, in some cases - are brought and either already with them or on their way to their destinations, so there will be no scrambling to get it all done at the last moment for us. That's one benifit to needing to make sure things are posted to people: you tend to make sure it's done in plenty of time to allow for postal delays. At least, I do.
I'm hoping for a white Winter Solstice and Christmas. Or even just one of those. But then, aren't I always?
We did get some snow on Saturday, but we didn't take photos since we weren't awake for most of it coming down, and it didn't settle very well (probably due to everything being damp from recent storms coming in off the sea, and the salt that would have come with that). Still, at least we did get some, along with more storms; there was another big storm Saturday night, with lots of wind and rain. I enjoy a good storm, but would love more snow! Something the universe apparently took note of this year. But I'll tell you more about that another day.
Saturday's snow was Lilie's first snowfall, but - as already mentioned - we missed seeing most of it fall, and it didn't settle well, so she didn't get to see much snow. To be honest, she didn't even appear to notice the snow existed; she showed as little interest in it as she had in the frost when she first encountered that in early November. At least, that's how she was with what we got on Saturday. She was more enthusiastic yesterday (Monday). But - as already mentioned - I'll tell you more about that another day.
How about you? Have you had snow? Also, what are your plans for the holidays? Are you ready for them? How's the shopping going?
Oh, and... Happy Hanukkah if you celebrate it!