by - Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winter is here again! Not as we know it - muffling roofs with a white down but when I can clearly see the windows of the opposite neighbourhood through the naked branches, I know it is time to cover up with a wooly cardigan and long stockings. Heating's on, hot chocolate warms my hands up, I'm reading a lot again. In three days' time I will welcome my favourite month in a whole year, not just because it is my birthday month and a season of all good things lining up ahead of me, but simply it is another one in my short journey on earth so I cannot wait to live it with every cell, every little emotion. And of course to feel snow again!

A long December will whoosh away quicker than Madonna's new single from the charts so the best option is to plan those few weeks in advance and enjoy them to the last second - on my own and as a family. I believe the sooner I start writing Christmas wishes to send them off to my family in Europe the better, so they'll arrive on time (unlike previous years). In between the writing process there's no better way of getting into the Christmas spirit than skimming across the ice, wrapped up in wooly clothes with a rosy glow on the face. For the winter season I expect to be extremely busy on the ice rink. As being nervous about balancing on a pair of silver blades, I should think of some skating lessons. And, oh! How about celebrating my special birthday on ice?? After we've burned up some energy on the icy surface, we can relax at the restaurant! Before my big day, another memorable time awaits us in a warm, friendly atmosphere of a comfortable restaurant, where we can enjoy the extensive menu offering fine fresh Italian cuisine. I still remember the taste of a prosciutto e melone (melon and parma ham) for a starter when my mum and her partner visited us a year ago. We sat outside in a small fenced garden under the canopy and enjoyed à la carte dishes. Three years ago me and Damian have exchanged our marriage vows in a beautiful wintery Rome and as a lovely reminiscence of this event, we are going to welcome the taste of Italy once again. 

'We're dreaming of a White Christmas, just like the ones we used to know...' Yes, English tradition to take a trip back to the past for a banqueting feasts - Christmas parties! It is very unlike in my country to attend as many events of that sort as possible where people drink, eat and entertain themselves on the dancefloor. But we always look forward to a festive mulled wine upon arrival followed by a food buffet at our long time friends: Andrea and Woody's party where for the short hour or two we can chat to almost everybody in a small town of Swanage. To really get ourselves feeling more festive, I want to introduce our own Christmas party to gather those from far and near. And as for my daughter, we'll try not to miss any children party or meeting real Santa. I still haven't decided when it is the right time to help Santa with the Christmas shopping. First stream of this season favourite will be revealed on our Little Eve's day on the 23rd of December as a relaxation after the hectic run-up to Christmas with 'Cosy Boxes' - anything to get snuggled in, muffled and bundled up: wooly socks, cheeky pyjamas, fluffy slippers, all that girly bunch of goodies. And where is the best place to find not mass-produced but craftwork of real quality? Historic Christmas Markets, held in cities, towns and villages throughout the country are evoking the magic atmosphere. I dream of buying lots of hand made baubles made of glass, personalised and treasured for years. What about going to a real German Christmas Market next year for a day or weekend trip, where the stalls are covered with snow and roasted chestnuts are seeking my attention through their odour floating in the snowy air? (we have family in Dortmund where its market can claim one of the biggest ones in Germany, with over 300 stalls packed around a gigantic Christmas tree.)

The calendar winter starts on the 22nd of December, this is the shortest day in a year, so every minute and every sentence is so precious. How to make the most of the tiniest of days? For now I vote for ice skating or going to the beach and watch the day drowning into the ashen sea. In the evening preceding Christmas Day we will sit at the table with the family and celebrate the joy of being happy, healthy, eager to love others and spread the spirit of a time when our troubles are miles away. A traditional 12-dishes supper will be served in a less bountiful shape but I will try to include some of my favourite dishes - mushroom soup made from dried suillus, roast duck in apples. Well, the menu is not ready yet... Christmas is about cooking, sharing time and joy of being close to others so baking cookies or a nice cake seems to be an ultimate get-togeter! Who will wrap them up and give away to friends and neighbours? Shhh... that's Santa's job, he'll know how to do it. I'm sure I will be at work on Christmas Day, but this doesn't stop me from giving Santa a hand with filling the stockings with cute thoughtful trifles the day before. Time goes by and here I am - older than usual as I am entering the 30’s club!! Am I going to love my 30’s? I would definitely like to have a magical day, a breakfast in bed with a glass of champagne and... well, ideas of how to make it special are still bouncing in my head and I don't expect to decide on anything just yet. After a day of recovery from a dream birthday party, the universe throws another big event at me - New Year's Eve! I told you this month will keep me breathless...

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  1. Eagerly awaiting another winter together. I'm sure we will find plenty to do.

    1. Let's ignore the fact there will be no snow but tons of other entertainment.