holidays far from home

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It's been odd preparing for the holidays this year. We have a lot of traditions associated with the season back in Rochester--chief among them the ritual trek to Stokoe Farms to stalk and kill a wild tree.

This year all of our decorations and holiday accessories are stored in the basement of our house in Rochester, so we've had to start from a blank slate. I caved this year, and we bought an artificial tree--I just didn't have the time or energy to figure out where to go for a comparable tree-cutting experience here, nor did I want to deal with the traffic. And we haven't got any ornaments on it yet (though it did come pre-lit; very convenient, I must admit). I bought a couple of make-your-own-ornament kirom Michael's yesterday, and the boys and I will spend some time today making those.

The tree is up in our family room, where there's also a fireplace--just like back home. The difference here is that this is a gas fireplace, which starts up from a light switch on the wall. Poof--instant flames. Again, convenient--but not quite as satisfying as building a wood fire yourself.

And did I mention the traffice? OMG--the traffic. What a nightmare. That alone is reason enough to return to Rochester at the end of the year. A simple trip to Target, which in Rochester takes us less than an hour round trip (including shopping time) takes 3-4x as long here, and the stress level is exponentially increased with each additional 30 minutes in traffic.

While we don't really miss the sub-zero temperatures and blowing and drifting snow of home, we were feeling a little homesick for Christmas-y look of snow. So we took a trip up into the Cascades on Saturday to visit a little Bavarian-themed town called Leavenworth. We went with my friend Lili and her 3 kids, and we all had a great time. The town's a little (well, more than a little) hokey, but the setting is gorgeous, we got our snow fix, and the kids had a blast wandering in the little christmas shops. We also acquired some ridiculous and very fun hats while were there.

All in all, we've little to complain about this holiday season. We're happy and healthy, warm and safe, in a beautiful place with friends and family nearby. It may not be the same as it's ever been, but it's still a lot to be grateful for.

So, that's the holiday report from the diaspora. May your season be full of warmth and love and laughter.

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This page contains a single entry published on December 20, 2005 9:57 AM.

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