Last week I found myself thinking of the holidays as a checklist to be gotten through: Book Advent wrapped and ready, check; Make-A-Craft Fair, check; K-4 Holiday Concert, check; St. Nicholas Day shoes filled, check. I realized it was time to sit back a bit and really enjoy what this season brings.
To that end, on Sunday we headed off into the woods for our favorite holiday tradition, Getting the Tree.
My sister, Auntie V, who is visiting from Colorado joined us on the hunt.
It was one of the only snowless tree hunts we've been on (I only remember one other time).
We trooped around our usual fir-growing grounds, where the trees get bigger every year (just like the kids!),
Unti we found the just-right tree, deciding on taking the top of a larger-than-usual (than we usually choose for a Christmas tree, that is) fir.
Everyone took a turn sawing and C hoisted the tree on his shoulders for the return trip.
Before we had gone out into the woods, C and Z had cut the top eight feet off of a huge fir that had been felled by Hurricane Sandy.
When we got back home, we decided to go with the Hurricane tree instead of the one we cut down.
Its branches are much more dense and its shape more compact than our usual trees. For once we can fit all of our ornaments without them drooping to the floor.
Our elf seems pretty happy, anyway. (If you, like M, are worried that we cut down a tree "for no reason," we gave the other tree to C's mom, so it has a home).
Other festivities include a lot of making and even more shopping (I need to reign that in here pretty soon), Christmas cards written and in the mail,
And the first batch of cookies baked (Spekulatius).
One day this week, I brought home big pretzels and mint-flavored chocolate bars because I thought it would be fun to have minty-chocolate dipped pretzels, just for fun, and just to eat right then and there (which is good, because they weren't pretty enough to share).
I meant to make saffron buns last night for breakfast today (St. Lucia Day), but my sister and I went out to see Anna Karenina and I completely forgot. Maybe I'll make them for Saturday morning breakfast, to continue the theme of sitting back and enjoying the season.