I am feeling the familiar drumbeat of not nearly enough time. I still need to do so much shopping, gift-wrapping, packing planning partying making food and seeing people.
I did tree-trimming with Jason's family; wish we could have stayed longer. So fun to see so many ornaments full of stories, referencing people I haven't met or stories I haven't yet heard, having them explained to me, all those old kid-made creations that parents hold onto each year.
The red berries are out in force on green trees and bushes all over the place around here. They line my workplace, our apartment complex, up against fences, downtown on the other side of the bridge... just everywhere. A visual reminder of the way this new city I live in retains its color, even when the leaves fall.
It's so green here for it to already be December. I hardly seem to notice seasons passing; the usual markers aren't there for me. No snow, but cold enough to freeze the windshield-wiper fluid to the side of our windshield when Jason drives home in the morning and has to clear it off.
And of course, the most audible reminder of all is the Christmas music blasting all over the place, in shops and in restaurants, on the radio and being sung from everyone's mouths.
I am not, as a rule, against Christmas music. I don't dislike it as a whole genre. I loathe 'modern' covers of traditional songs that take all the soul out of them, and I have found that much of the Christmas music that plays over the speakers at work falls into this unfortunate category. A welcome exception is Lorena McKennitt, a singer with an incredibly lovely voice and a way of slightly shifting songs without taking away their meaning.
This is Lorena McKennitt's take on my absolute favorite Christmas song, "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen". This is the song I hum to myself when I'm trying to remind myself to get somewhere near the 'Christmas' frame of mind.
Hit the 'play' button there and have a listen:
The chill in the air at this point is enough that even I have to admit I might have to pull my real, true winter coat out of the closet. So far I've been fine wearing jackets and thick sweaters, but I don't know; I might need my gloves at this point.
It takes some sustained cold temperatures for me to even consider wearing gloves, readership. My mother can tell you all about sustained battles of my childhood and adolescence (and, to my shame, adulthood) to try and get me to A. wear gloves, B. remember where I put my gloves or C. agree to just let her buy me new gloves already. Last year I received these gorgeous fuchsia gloves as a gift, and I wore them all the time while trudging through the snow on my daily walks and I love how colorful they are.
I might just have to pull them out.
I'm not yet sure I'm willing to declare this particular battle won by Team Wear Your Gloves, Darn It, It's Cold. Team Eh, It's Not So Bad If My Fingers Are Slightly Numb is putting up a valiant fight.
Not too many pictures, lately. That's the fault of a couple of things; I've been heavily distracted, and I've been very 'cozy' lately. Most of what I do is curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot tea, Jason beside me doing much the same, and read or watch Food Network's incessant lineup of candy-and-cookie-themed-shows and daydream about making my own giant gingerbread houses and then trying very hard not to eat my hard-won construction.
So much tea, I drink. And also coffee, if I'm not careful. I've been attempting to be careful about it, but I am not always successful. There are days where I make it to 4 p.m. and I realize I haven't had anything except a cup of coffee and a huge green tea with soy all day long to drink.
I've been drinking a lot of honey mixed with hot water to stave off any conceivable colds; so far it seems to be working.
Every time my throat gets a touch scratchy, I drink a few ounces of hot water and honey, and soon enough it fades out. I'm a big fan of honey as a cure-all or at least a really good placebo.
My second-favorite Christmas carol is 'Carol of the Bells', especially if done by a really good choir:
In the end, even I am susceptible to accidentally falling headfirst into the season:
I swear, I just wanted to put on cozy pajamas and a sweater to lounge in.
Next thing I know, I'm a walking Christmas tree.
All I need are twinkly lights and an angel on my head.