gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: holidays

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

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The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, where is it to be found?

J.B. Priestley

In the most recent Winter issue of The Magnolia Journal, I came across this lovely quote and visual, and I have to say I think this is so true. I definitely get frustrated with the cold sometimes, but I do think snow is so pretty. I think this is true for any snowfall, but especially for the first of the season. There is something about the purity of the white fluffy stuff on the ground that brings peace and joy to my heart. It’s also fun to wake up in a world that looks different from what we’re used to. It’s a beautiful surprise and brings a sense of renewal with it.

The holiday season is such a happy and comforting time, but it always feels too short. I don’t love the cold, but I do love snow, and a white Christmas is better than a snow-less Christmas. Here’s to hoping we have a white Christmas in the Midwest this year!

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McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV is absolutely a staple of Thanksgiving at my house. This year, since I live in Chicago,¬† I went to the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade downtown on State Street. I was sad to miss watching the Macy’s parade on TV, but I was also excited about seeing a parade in person. The parade in Chicago is obviously on a much smaller scale than the one in New York, but it still felt very festive.

It was also very different. Rather than big floats and balloons, the Chicago parade focuses on diversity and inclusion by representing various ethnic groups complete with authentic costumes and music from their cultures. I didn’t see the whole parade, but the countries I saw represented were Bolivia, China, Thailand, Mexico, and the Punjab region of India (and I’m sure there were others). I really admired the Bolivian costumes because they wore these interesting wooden clog-type sandals with some kind of bells that made a nice sound.

There were of course many high school marching bands, tap dancers, and cheer squads. There weren’t too many musical performers though, as there are in the Macy’s parade. The one disappointment was how anti-climactic Santa’s arrival was. There wasn’t any music accompanying his sleigh and there just wasn’t a lot of excitement among the crowd when he finally did arrive. I think one thing that makes the Macy’s parade so fun to watch are the commentators from The Today Show with their witty and dynamic narratives. So maybe Santa’s arrival was disappointing because there was no big announcement or tale about his gift-giving to all the boys and girls around the world.

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Christmas eats

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Undeniably, food is a big part of the Christmas holiday. This year, my family tried a new chicken recipe from The Kinfolk Table Cookbook, which is a marvelous book if you don’t know it. It’s actually one of the first recipes I’ve tried from this cookbook, but surely not the last, because, again, it’s a beautiful book filled with unique delicious-looking recipes. My mom and I also made our annual traditional trip to the Christkindlmarket in Chicago, which we look forward to all year. The hot chocolate, spiced wine, crepe booth from Paris, and authentic German Christmas ornaments really pull at our heartstrings. Fortunately, we stumbled upon a French booth run by Catholic nuns, who were selling French pastries and desserts. Not only were the nuns the sweetest, and very happy to speak French with my mom, their desserts were to die for. We bought an apple pie and a chocolate Buche de Noel, which were as yummy as they were beautifully-presented. This year, we also made our own egg nog for the first time, and I have to say I thought it was better than the store-bought egg nog!

Christmas decorations

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I was so sad that I wouldn’t be able to decorate the house for Christmas this year because of an illness that impaired my walking ability, but as it slowly got better I was finally able to decorate a few days just before Christmas. I love decorating for Christmas every year because it makes the house feel so warm, cozy and festive. This is a sampling of our Christmas decorations this year. DSC_3746 DSC_3776 DSC_3781 DSC_3801 DSC_3806

Swedish ceramic horses DSC_3818 DSC_3819 Penguins DSC_3822 Reindeer DSC_3823 DSC_3824 DSC_3825 Santa Claus nutcracker DSC_3827

Our treeDSC_3845 DSC_3855 DSC_3859 DSC_3890 DSC_3901 DSC_3794 DSC_3795 DSC_3749 DSC_3757 DSC_3761

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Little ski girl

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Our new Swedish candlesticks

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Christmas meals

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I have a small family. I’m an only child and so are my parents. I only have one living grandparent. So our holidays don’t consist of large gatherings with aunts, uncles, cousins, anything-in-law, or grandparents. It’s just my parents and I. Our celebrations are small, but they are genuine and intimate. And we don’t have to make as much food! These are some pictures from our Christmas meals this year.

Christmas breakfast

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Christmas dinner

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Mushroom candles and penguins

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Traditional German angel chimes

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