We spend the winter holidays in Chicago, and while it can feel lonely and very far away from family and traditions, this year it was quiet and relaxing, and I'm holding onto that. I usually enjoy mimosas with my mom on Christmas day, and this year, it was only orange juice in a champagne flute. But it was oh-so-satisfying. What was not so satisfying was the heartburn that came later, in the middle of the night. My mom also makes challah french toast for Christmas morning, which I made, ceremoniously in the kitchen while listening to my favorite holiday songs from Sujfan Stevens. 

Another tradition, each winter I make biscotti. For me, I dip them in chocolate. For Steven, I leave them as-is. A new tradition for us is going to Christkindlmarket for mulled wine or hot cocoa, and purchasing a new ornament for our tree. The market has some of the prettiest glass ornaments, and we've slowly been building a mushroom ornament collection. This year, we found one that clips to the tree branch, rather than hangs, a little toadstool. Some traditions are worth keeping, and others are new traditions that are just as special. 

My energy for entertaining and going on outings has been waning with each passing year. With busy schedules and actively seeking some quiet, knitting sessions on the couch, the amount of time left for going out is few and far between, and I'm okay with that. From time to time I'll check my horoscope and it will say something like, "Don't over-schedule yourself this week." And honestly, I'd like to live with that advice every day. Over-scheduling my life was something that used to thrill me, which is surprising since I've often related myself to an introvert. Or perhaps, I was more of an introvert when I was younger, in high school. Perhaps, now that I've gone through many years of roaring 20's, maybe now I'm returning to that inner peace that the introverted, high school me always sought out. I had a list of holiday outings that I wanted to do during our few days off. Some we did, some we skipped, and I liked it that way - following our moods and our hearts. We watched all of our favorite holiday films and ate all of our favorite holiday foods. The only thing missing was being surrounded by family back home. 

We exchanged small gifts this year, and most of what was under our tree came in the mail from our moms, wrapped and all. I prefer it this way. Our gift to each other was an Instax camera, and we also got each other a little something else as a surprise. We also bought Mort two new toys. Like a good kid, he ripped the packages open and played with his toys immediately. It was a noisy Christmas morning, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

We spend the winter holidays in Chicago, and while it can feel lonely and very far away from family and traditions, this year it was quiet and relaxing, and I'm holding onto that. I usually enjoy mimosas with my mom on Christmas day, and this year, it was only orange juice in a champagne flute. But it was oh-so-satisfying. What was not so satisfying was the heartburn that came later, in the middle of the night. My mom also makes challah french toast for Christmas morning, which I made, ceremoniously in the kitchen while listening to my favorite holiday songs from Sujfan Stevens. 

Another tradition, each winter I make biscotti. For me, I dip them in chocolate. For Steven, I leave them as-is. A new tradition for us is going to Christkindlmarket for mulled wine or hot cocoa, and purchasing a new ornament for our tree. The market has some of the prettiest glass ornaments, and we've slowly been building a mushroom ornament collection. This year, we found one that clips to the tree branch, rather than hangs, a little toadstool. Some traditions are worth keeping, and others are new traditions that are just as special. 

My energy for entertaining and going on outings has been waning with each passing year. With busy schedules and actively seeking some quiet, knitting sessions on the couch, the amount of time left for going out is few and far between, and I'm okay with that. From time to time I'll check my horoscope and it will say something like, "Don't over-schedule yourself this week." And honestly, I'd like to live with that advice every day. Over-scheduling my life was something that used to thrill me, which is surprising since I've often related myself to an introvert. Or perhaps, I was more of an introvert when I was younger, in high school. Perhaps, now that I've gone through many years of roaring 20's, maybe now I'm returning to that inner peace that the introverted, high school me always sought out. I had a list of holiday outings that I wanted to do during our few days off. Some we did, some we skipped, and I liked it that way - following our moods and our hearts. We watched all of our favorite holiday films and ate all of our favorite holiday foods. The only thing missing was being surrounded by family back home. 

We exchanged small gifts this year, and most of what was under our tree came in the mail from our moms, wrapped and all. I prefer it this way. Our gift to each other was an Instax camera, and we also got each other a little something else as a surprise. We also bought Mort two new toys. Like a good kid, he ripped the packages open and played with his toys immediately. It was a noisy Christmas morning, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

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