The sun sets now at 4:20 in the afternoon and it is pitch dark outside before 5 p.m.
It has been snowing all day and the temperature is in the mid teens.
I've been busy inside baking and decorating cookies, and now they are ready in tins to go with me out to California.
The house is all decorated, plans are all in place, dates are set, flights confirmed, cabins rented, ski passes secured, house prepared for when Hope and Steve arrive once we get back.
Presents are bought, most are wrapped, and the ones for Tom and Greg have been shipped and already arrived at Tom's. I have the little stuff ready to go in my suitcase, like lifesaver books. And Christmas Peeps.
Everything is done.
Now we let the holiday unfold over the next two weeks.
There is still packing to do, and a little more shopping and wrapping, but otherwise it's just travel, skiing, visiting, hosting, presents, eating, repeat. We get to see all three of our kids.
When all the holiday doings are over, I am so looking forward to starting in on the garden things that I can do indoors in winter:
- I'll start updating all the entries in my Plant Inventory with photos and info for 2013. I like doing this, but it takes a lot of indoor time at the computer.
- I'll start my lists of plants to order or buy. I love this exercise in the winter, but resist even thinking about it until after the holidays; if I start, I get distracted from all the other organizing that needs doing before Christmas. I need a clean slate and blank stretch of time for this. I'll bring some of the plant catalogs with me on the plane.
- I'll start daydreaming about the design changes I want to make. This takes a lot of empty time too, just letting my mind think and my fingers find inspiration on the internet or in books.
I love this point in time when the work of the holidays is done, events are about to unfurl as planned, and I can feel the time coming after Christmas when I can finally turn to the indoor projects that I've been anticipating since fall.