Christmas on the Mountain

I usually hate snow with a fiery passion. It piles up and coat the roads with a slushy, icy death blanket. It is wet and cold, and somehow always finds its way inside my shoes. Small children squeal with glee, taking great pleasure in their snow day while the rest of the world churns onward. No snow days for us adults. In short, snow turns me into a big fat grinch.

But not today. Today, my world looks like this:

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And I couldn’t be happier.

Christmas Eve is the perfect time for snow – or at least for those of us lucky enough to have Christmas Eve off work. (Sorry to all my retail friends who are toiling away today). For the next two days there is no place I have to be. My car can sit safely in the garage. I can sit curled up on the sofa, tea in hand, reading a book. Or lets be honest, watching the Doctor Who marathon on BBC America. With tiny white flakes occasionally drifting down from the sky, this has been an incredibly relaxing way to wind up an eventful year.

Christmas’s like this don’t happen every year. Last year I roasted in 100-degree weather with my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers. It’s been several years since I’ve spent the holidays with my parents. The next year holds much uncertainty for me, so I’m taking full advantage of this opportunity, this White Christmas.

The Decorations

I’m a big fan of subtle Christmas cheer. Instead of wrapping the house head-to-toe (or I suppose roof-to-foundation) in Christmas lights, decoration have been minimized to giant ornaments hung on a pair of trees outside. These ornaments have proven to have a mind of their own. They blow off in the wind. They fill up with rain water and fall off their branches. Every few days I rehang them. Today, in the snowy wonderland, the effort became totally worth it. Beautiful.

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The Tree

When you live on a mountain covered in fur trees, it seems rather silly to pay for a Christmas tree. Instead, my parents and I jumped into our suped-up golf cart and went hunting. We tried to find a tree that wasn’t too tall, wasn’t too spindly, wasn’t too windblown. After a few trips into the great wilderness that is their front yard, we spotted a winner.

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It wasn’t until after we got it into the house that we realized it was bent. Clearly it had grown up on a hill, so it looked straight in situ. Oh well, we decorated it anyway.

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If you put it in the corner, and turn it the right way, you barely notice it’s angular nature. We’ll keep telling ourselves that.

The Cookies

I was always taught that Santa Claus likes cookies, which means Christmas Eve should be spent preparing a fresh batch. The previous night, my mom tried an experimental batch… with subjective success. She wasn’t particularly pleased with the outcome, but we learned a very important lesson about butter. And they were still delicious.

Today we remedied the situation by making a new set. Now we have enough cookies to feed a small army of cookie monsters. I am not complaining.

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You can see the educational batch on the far left.

The Delivery Man

No set of people are so intrinsic in the success of Christmas as the Fedex, UPS, USPS, and other delivery men and women. When our road looks like this:

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It’s amazing that we get any deliveries. Much less on Christmas Eve. But sure enough, a smiling delivery guy showed up (after abandoning his truck in favor of walking down our trail) with the last few boxes ready for the morning. Your efforts will be forever appreciated!

Everything Else

Christmas, whether or not you are religious, is an excellent moment to appreciate life. It’s not that we forget to be thankful other times of the year, but we often don’t take enough time to comprehend all that we do have. I have such amazing friends, family, support, and love with me on all my adventures. I live a truly serendipitous life.

Thank each and every one of you, and Merry Christmas!

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