Will there be snow? Here in St. Paul it looks to be a brown Christmas this year. You may recall Christmas for the last two years was decidedly white, this was Christmas Eve, 2009:
In fact, we had such a snowstorm on Christmas Eve that the Mall of America closed EARLY. Definitely a first in their history. So since we didn't have to work we were able to start our Christmas eve celebration a little early. We played Monopoly, and you could only open a gift if you landed in jail. A great way to make the fun last.
I think on this date last year we already had at least 3 feet of snow on the ground. The streets were narrowed by giant snow banks, and we were wishing for a giant flame thrower to come and clear the ice from the streets. I don't think it all melted until April.
I am okay with no snow for now, running errands yesterday in the 40 degree sunshine was certainly more agreeable than sliding down icy streets and climbing over crusty snowbanks to get to your favorite store.
But a light, fluffy dusting, to coat the grass and tree branches, would be just fine for Christmas eve.
Last night I was at a Christmas cocktail party (thanks Julie! such fun!). It was the only holiday party on my calendar this year, and it was so nice to sit with other moms and just enjoy the season.
Less than a week now, to finish shopping and baking. I took holiday cards off my plate several years ago when we moved to the MOA, I just couldn't make it work. Now I send Happy Winter cards, or Valentines, to those on my list instead. I may do some baking, but other than Aunt Katie's sugar cookies there is nothing I feel required to make, in order for Christmas to arrive.
I have stocked up on lefse, and family favorite treats we only have on Christmas Eve: Chicken in a Biscuit crackers for Mike, tiny sausages for Charlie, a nice Brie for me that I will wrap in pastry dough and bake, then serve with a little chutney or jam. I will need a Trader Joe's run this week, to pick up olives, and favorite crackers and meats.
We already have our holiday bottles of real Coke, and several good bottles of wine and beer. I love the quiet of our little house on Christmas eve, we have music playing in the background while we snack and open gifts, then we usually put in a movie: Elf, or the Grinch, or Charlie Brown.
Charlie has requested Mike's spaghetti for Christmas Day, so I will be able to relax rather than spending the day in the kitchen making holiday ham and all that goes along with it. I can whip up a crunchy green salad and throw a baguette in the oven and call it good. I should come up with a fun dessert, perhaps some cookbook browsing is in order. And for sure I need to make Tracy Lane's Ricotta cookies-oh my heavens.
We will get to see our families in Bemidji after Christmas, we will be spending a couple of days with them before New Years, a nice, relaxed time.
Are you ready? Are you already looking forward to next Monday?