One of the highlights of the holidays for us is the day we get our tree.  For the last six years we have gone to a tree farm in Dallas, Oregon with my sister-in-law and her family.  This year we brought along one of Thor's cousins that lives not too far from us in Portland.  Including the family that lives down there, there were seven cousins together on tree day.  There was a wagon ride, cocoa and candy canes around the fire pits, and careful deliberation over the perfect tree.  I'm glad they will all have this tradition together to remember.  {These are the days.}  Another tradition for us is going ice skating, which we also did last weekend.  So fun!  Ahem, yes, mildly embarrassing at times, but festive and fun! 

Watching & Reading:  I've been trying to catch up on Downton Abbey before the new season starts next month, whilst also trying to get through the pile of books I checked out from the library.  I don't know why I tend to check out three at a time when I know I can't get them all read, but I do like All The Light We Cannot See so far.  Making & Baking:  I made a good pumpkin pie!  I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe, minus the pecan/praline topping.  It was super easy, very creamy, and not too sweet.  I'm generally not that into desserts, but this pleased my people and that makes it worth repeating.  I'm going to make another one in the next few days. 

The Christmas shopping is not done yet, but the tree is lit, the wreath is on the door, and the holiday spirit is alive at our house.  The evenings are dark and cozy, with cups of tea or chocolate in hand, fires in the woodstove, and rain tapping on our windows.  I feel so much gratitude.  We are here.  We are together.  We are content.  I hope the warmth of the season has found its way into your home as well. 
by mlekoshi