Talking to a friend tonight about the crazy snow in the midwest I realized that I haven't seen snow in over a year. London had one Easter fling with Mr. Jack Frost, but there wasn't even enough to dust the streets and by the time I looked out my window to see the snow, it was gone. Now I'm in Lodi, and it's hard for me to imagine below zero temps when it feels like a brisk autumn day every time I wander outside (I hear that although rare, it does occasionally snow. And I did have to scrape ice off of my windshield the other day, so freezing temps happen.)
But this Christmas won't be entirely without snow. My parents and three younger brothers are flying in to celebrate with us, and a few days later we'll go skiing/snowboarding in Tahoe. Until then, we plan to make the most of our time together and similate Christmas all over again after they arrive on Christmas Day. We'll enjoy appetizers around a warm fire and the Christmas tree, open gifts and play games--Christmas Eve all over again. "Christmas Day" (which will be the day after Christmas) we'll go to Target for our annual Stocking Shopping Extravaganza which consists of seven people employing military strategies to dodge each other around store corners and protect our cart's contents from being seen by gift receivers. Then we'll come home, open stockings and enjoy a hearty Christmas dinner of h** (censored for readers sensitive to certain hoofed and curly-tailed barn animals). I'm also hoping to watch the Nativity Story which is quite a good version of the original Luke manuscript, except for the Prince look-alike angel who circles Mary like a sexual predator (and how disappointing that the "host of angels" that appears to the shepherds is not a host, but the same Prince guy. The ONLY angel that appears! What happened to all of our modern graphical technology and why isn't it good enough for shepherds?)
Never mind. In the spirit of English tradition, I made mince pies and we're going to drink mulled wine and pop Christmas crackers and really, I'm just excited to see my family. All seven of us will be under one roof for the first time in a year and four months!