Hi there! How was your holiday? I hope it was peaceful and happy. Ours was lovely this year. We stayed close to home, spending Christmas eve day with family. Lunch consisted of two types of chili as well as vegetarian, gluten-free posole, various toppings, corn bread and a delightful lemon mousse that our niece made for dessert. I brought chocolate-peppermint thumbprint cookies.
We arrived home around 6:30 in the evening, took maps and went to church at 10:45 for midnight Mass, which started at 11:15 with carols and meditations. I love midnight Mass! The church looks even prettier than usual with its lit trees, wreaths and mounds of red and white poinsettias. There is incense and beautiful music rich with instruments such as guitar, violin, trombone and trumpet in addition to piano and organ. Our choir of talented singers included some who are classically trained and performed amazing solos. The church was packed, many of whom unfortunately come to church only at Christmas and Easter. It is always my hope that the service will touch their hearts and they'll feel moved to attend Mass more regularly. We have a wonderful priest who has a great sense of humor and delivers wonderful homilies.
Now here we are in the week between Christmas and New Year's. Our tree, which we lit with 300 colored lights, but left unadorned this year (a first) will stay up until after New Year's day. As seen in the photos above, a beautiful amaryllis bloomed prior to Christmas. The dining table decorations (real and faux pine cones) will remain through winter. The Nativity is displayed on an end table in the living room and will be put away when the tree goes -- though I could keep it out year-round, I love it so much.
I have next week off from work, which I am really looking forward to. I plan to finish a book I'm reading (All the Light We Cannot See), do some baking and cooking, get back into knitting and create some new blog posts. I also have to take care of some necessities, such as renewing my driver's license, which expires on my birthday in January. We also have plans to attend a New Year's Eve party at our neighbor's house. It'll be an early evening gathering, which suits us just fine!
When I share my next baking post, I'll fill you in on some interesting news about my relationship with wheat. I'm pretty excited about it. Meanwhile, I wish you a safe and happy new year!