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I love this time of year, even when our schedules get super busy and it’s hard to find a moment to just sit and relax. Steve and I planned a Christmas date last weekend amidst the busy-ness and went to Portland’s Zoo Lights and then out to dinner afterward. It was a beautiful night for the Zoo Lights, dry but very cold. We had gone to their display years ago, so decided it would be fun to go again and see what had changed. We were both thrilled with the light displays this time, there were so many beautiful light displays almost everywhere you looked, choirs singing, bands playing, lots of fun food and warm drinks, and the train ride was fun too. Dinner afterward was very nice and relaxing, and I just had to order one of my favorite warm holiday drinks, a hot buttered rum. It was such a pleasant night for the two of us in the middle of all the hustle and bustle.

We are having our family Christmas early this year, this coming Saturday. I’ve been busy making a lot of my gifts and decorations. My girls and I have a Christmas craft day each year and this year we are making a set of 3 felt Christmas trees (3 different sizes) – photos of our masterpieces will come later.

Several years ago we started a Kramer family tradition called the “pickle game”. I had bought the Christmas pickle ornament for our tree and knew of the Victorian custom of giving the child who found the ornament an extra gift. So we all decided to create our own version of that tradition. All of us head out to the garage bar for drinks and playing ping-pong, while one person hides the pickle somewhere in the house. It has to be on a tree and I have at least one or more in each room of the house. Then, one by one each of us runs into the house to try and find the pickle and we are timed from the minute we leave the garage. We have a limit of 5 minutes. Once we find it (or give up), we run back to the garage and tell the person who hid the pickle where we found it. Our time is written down and once everyone has had a chance to search for the pickle, the person with the best time gets a present. This gets pretty crazy each year.  One year, Scott was hiding the pickle and drew a tree on the kitchen chalkboard and hung the pickle on that tree with electricians tape.  Most of us walked right by the chalkboard without seeing it.  That was one of the most clever ‘hidings’ we’ve had. 

So far everyone has found the pickle at least once, except for ME and I’m the one who knows where all the trees are. Maybe my time has come this year.

Well, I have to run and do the last-minute preparations for our family Christmas this weekend. More photos and stories of our adventures will be coming soon.

Here’s hoping all of you are having a wonderful holiday season and are remembering to “savor the magic” each day.