This week was full, full, full of Christmas. First was our church's ladies Christmas event. This is probably my favorite event of the year. Our theme was "Silent Night," an unintended oxymoron. (Get it? ..."Silent Night" ladies event. Ha ha!) Did you know I have synesthesia? Letters have a color to me. I see blue A's, red B's, yellow H's, purple J's, green T's and brown K's, to name a few. When I was a little girl, I was mad that the letter K was brown, because it was my letter and I so wanted it to be pink! Anyway, I say all that to say this: Christmas to me is not red and green, it's red or blue. When I think of the holiday, I see it either as red, which is merry, jolly, happy, bright, busy. It's Jingle Bells, Holly Jolly Christmas, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Joy to the World. But I also see Christmas as blue, as in an inky sky with sparkling stars, calm, still, serene, snowy, hushed. It's O, Holy Night, What Child is This?, O Little Town of Bethlehem and Silent Night. This year I chose to decorate in purples and blues with frosty-white snow and sparkly ice. Here are some pictures. I actually loved the look!
|See the little "melted snowman" cookies?|
|We had a quartet of two harps, |
a flute and a violin--heavenly!
Then we had a crazy-busy Sunday: Church, a funeral, a big ham dinner to celebrate "Christmas" with our Canadian college kids before they all went home for the holidays, and a birthday party. From there I went into my regular work week but ended Monday with a wonderful trip into Portland to hear my daughter sing with her symphonic choir at The Grotto, which is the site of "Festival of Light." We toured the beautifully lit grounds, listened to the concert with the gorgeous acoustics of the cathedral, and then went out for ice cream at Salt & Straw, a gourmet ice cream shop that makes old-fashioned homemade ice cream with a funky, upbeat twist on flavors. I chose strawberry honey-balsamic vinegar. One of my daughters chose eggnog with rum sauce, another tried Lumberjack Stack, which tasted of pancakes dripping with maple syrup and butter, Jeff went for a predictable chocolate with brownie chunks, and our friend tried the salted caramel. Then there were the samples...ahhh, too many to list! My teeth were just aching, aching eating all that cold ice cream. Must get to the dentist!
The next day was yet another Christmas concert and yesterday was my mom's birthday, so we went shopping in cute and quaint downtown McMinnville, had dinner at La Rambla, a Spanish tapas restaurant, and then ended with more ice cream at a very old-fashioned ice cream parlor. (I had baked a batch of shortbread that day--my very favorite Christmas cookie--so I actually skipped the ice cream because I think I had four cookies that day!)
In the midst of all these wonderful Christmas events was work (wouldn't it be luxurious to take the whole month of December off?), Christmas cards (I send out 145...too many, I think, but how do you cut back?), baking (besides the shortbread I made Norwegian nutmeg cookies and un-Christmasy banana bread) and shopping (I am very, very near being completely finished!). Today I worked at the church and had a Christmas staff lunch and then went home for my regular afternoon/evening shift of work, and finally, for the evening I only had one commitment...Zumba, which I really needed after all the ice cream and shortbread I've been eating!! Tomorrow I am preparing the house for company---guests from Seattle and my niece from Canada arriving this weekend. But tonight I am going to relax by the fire next to my pretty tree, put on some Christmas music and finish the very last of my cards. I love both the hustle and the hush of the holidays...I love a red and a blue Christmas!