We have been literally living in a fog for a week now in the Allegheny mountains and valleys. Last weekend we awoke to hoar frost that was so thick it looked like we had an ice storm. The fog sat like this at our farm all day long and continued with a heavy frost each morning until mid-week when the night-time temperatures remained above freezing. Now a week later, I am looking out my window into a thick fog but with record high temps that are to reach near 70 degrees this afternoon. It's crazy weather and doesn't feel like Christmas. However, I am doing my best to keep up with our Christmas traditions and spread Christmas cheer.
This weekend we made some glycerin Christmas soaps in some of my favorite fragrances. The Christmas trees are peppermint, the snowmen are vanilla, and the Santas are cinnamon. These will go into gift bags with candles and a few other small items for music teachers at the school.
I snuggled up on my big green chair with our six-year old and read one of my favorite Christmas stories by Frank McCourt. This is a beautiful, touching, yet humorous story of a little girl who "steals" the baby Jesus from the parish nativity because she thinks he looks cold. If you don't have this book around to read to young children, I highly recommend it. I think I'll take it with me when I substitute in the elementary grades over the next two weeks.
I started our holiday baking yesterday by making our favorite Christmas cookie: peanut butter kiss cookies (aka. peanut blossoms). The children contribute by unwrapping the Hershey's kisses for me while the cookies are baking. The red plaid charger plates were a surprise for me from Hubby that he purchased at Michael's.
From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve we watch the Christmas classics. This weekend we settled in to watch The Santa Clause and A Charlie Brown Christmas. I never grow tired of these.
While watching those Christmas movies, I spent some time in one of my favorite hobbies and finished cross-stitching this ornament that has now found a place on our Christmas tree.
In the mornings, I've been enjoying blueberry muffin flavored coffee by Dunkin' Donuts in my favorite Christmas mugs which belonged to my husband's grandparents. Our weekdays start at 5:30 in the morning with most of us rushing to eat breakfast and get ready for school or work. As I've been spending more time in the schools volunteering and substitute teaching, I'm not only helping get children ready this early, but myself as well. Weekends have become luxurious respites as we relax and have leisurely time on Saturday and Sunday mornings until it's time to go to Mass.
After discovering Pentatonix sing "Mary, Did You Know?" last winter, that has become my absolute favorite Christmas song of all time. I would play it on YouTube over and over again until I purchased the CD last evening as a Christmas gift to myself. If you haven't yet heard/watched them perform this song, you must go to YouTube and type this in. You won't be disappointed.
This weekend will wrap up with us lighting the third (pink) candle on our Advent wreath as we eat dinner together and enter the third week of this joyful season. With decorating and shopping done, I hope to get Christmas cards sent out over the next few days. I hesitate to do much more baking until the week of Christmas because I won't be able to resist sampling everything over and over again.
We're all hoping that the fog finally lifts this week or Santa will surely need Rudolph to pull his sleigh again this Christmas Eve.