It’s funny how holidays sort of become completely different when you grow up. And somehow parts of them stay exactly the same. Instead of spending all day laying around while people we love run to and from the kitchen with food and drink, we spent most of the day in the kitchen ourselves. Christmas morning, while we opened our presents we ate freshly baked cinnamon rolls from the oven, whipped up and rolled out the night before. We froze butter for pie crusts and are still eating pecan pie after every meal. We bought a half ham, baked bread in the dutch oven, cooked mashed potatoes, roasted green vegetables. We mixed prosecco with spiced apple cider…very tasty and festive. We took a break from the cooking to walk on the beach during the most magical hour. We drove to look at neighborhoods decked out with Christmas lights. We walked to the theater near our house twice to see two good movies. We laid on the couch and read and napped and sipped lattes. We watched It’s a Wonderful Life. I liked the way it turned out a lot, just us two, doing our favorite things. It was good for us to do, I think, to remind us that if everything doesn’t happen the same it has every year before, things will still be okay. Good, even.
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I’ve become an elf in the past couple of weeks. I made the star on our tree, Christmas cards, peppermint mochas, bread, pom poms, and other knitted goodies. There are a few secret surprise gifts I wish I could post here but I have to wait.
It has rained here off and on for a few days and I have been cozied up inside for the most part with sniffles watching Christmas movies while I make. I am getting used to the idea that Christmas this year will not be spent laying around while my mom and grandparents do all the feeding and taking care of everyone. We will have a California Christmas. Presents will be mailed instead of handed. It’s a little bit exciting and a little bit sad.
This weekend we held candles and sang Christmas songs and listened to the Christmas story read under twinkly lights in a park outside with new friends. We had free chili and cornbread after church. We went to a couple of Christmasy parties. It didn’t feel like Christmas very much in the beginning of December, but now it is all around.
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We spent Christmas with Jeff’s family in a little town in eastern North Carolina that we both love. The town where I lived on my own for the first time. The place where my love grew up. Where his family has had a house on the water for a very long time with a view that I always forget about. Christmas morning was spent sipping coffee on the dock, watching the water, and listening to cousins shoot at floating pinecones with bb guns.
What is funny is how much Savannah feels like my home now. It is the place I get homesick for. I like it this way.
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On Friday night, we went to a free viewing of Home Alone in the Lucas Theater downtown. Before the show we went to Five Guys and then snuck in leftover fries for the movie. Best date. All the kids in that theater had such a great time and squealed and laughed at every funny part, which made it so much more fun. After the movie they even had fake snow right outside the theater, which despite the 70 degree high that day, I sort of fell for at first.
We went on a long walk all around downtown on Saturday, Christmas shopping and taking in how great Savannah is in December. We stopped for lunch at my favoriteplace in Savannah for a beautiful sandwich and duck fat fries.
Sunday night we went to a little Christmas party at our friend’s house. I forgot we were doing white elephant until it was almost too late. But I ended up making some little ornaments with fabric, stamps, and twigs, some of my favorite things. It was so much fun and our friends’ house was so cozy and festive (don’t you love the mantle and Christmas bells?).
It’s easy for me to think of all the things I don’t have and get caught up missing my family and being pouty this time of year. But lately I am seeing so many amazing things God has put in my life that it seems ridiculous to ever complain about anything. This time of year really beats any other time if you ask me. I love everything about it.
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When I woke up the morning after Christmas and remembered that there had been a chance of snow, I looked out the window and was completely surprised with how much snow was on the ground. I think I gasped. It’s been sooo long since there has been enough snow to build a snowman, so after breakfast we made two. There is plenty of snow in Asheville, so parents and Leah are used to it, but we were still all giddy about snowflakes in our hair and the piles that covered all the cars. It was a winter wonderland! Someday maybe Jeff and I will get to live somewhere where it snows a lot in the winter. I think I could get used to it.