I've just recently returned from merry old England, where they are truly Christmas obsessed, in the very best way. I have to say that no less that 3 fireplaces within 600 sq ft started me off in the holiday way. The first hotel I checked into had a roaring fireplace in the lobby, and also one right behind my chair in the dining room where I ate my $30 cereal each morning. This is truly the land of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. I even smelled them roasting just walking around among the holiday shopping. I swear! Fantastic. It was all very A Christmas Carol except it was like the end when Scrooge becomes happified and is in the spirit of things.
One thing that I have been particularly obsessed with since reading all my British children's Christmas books, imported for me from Canada, is the Christmas hamper. They are decadently displayed in all store windows, and you can even order a thousand pound (as in pounds sterling = $2,000USD!) hamper from Harrods. I enthusiastically rambled on in hamper rapture to my boss day after day in London. On the final day, while wandering the glittering displays in Fortnum & Mason, he finally said to me -- "so, you want a christmas clothes hamper?" I was devastated. This whole time he thought I was on a great quest for a container to hold my dirty clothes.
Yesterday, P & I made a "donation" to the school across the street to purchase our very lovely 6' Christmas tree. Lovely! We decorated while listening to Christmas tunes and drinking eggnog liberally mixed with rum. I passed out promply at 9:30 and was put to bed. Late onset jetlag I think -- I was asleep by 8:30 the night before.
The upside of this is that I awoke at 6:30am this lovely Sunday morning. I watched the sunrise by the light of my Christmas tree, then went to work on a batch of toasted pine nut biscotti. Delicious! I prepped the coffee pot with a mix of freshly ground Sumatra and Bourbon spiked coffee (a cultural gift!), and flicked the switch when I heard P start to stir...
Progress has been made: gifts have been bought, biscotti baked, and decorations decorated. More to come!!!!!!