We find ourselves in the midst of another holiday season. Before it slips away, we offer a hearty Happy Holidays to all our friends and readers.
Last year at this time we were in Beijing, China. Our holiday nostalgia took the form of a top ten favorite European Christmas markets list from our time living and traveling in Europe, including memories of the Andalucian Cabalgatas in Spain to the epic markets of Central Europe.
For those of you who weren't with us then, check out our Best European Christmas Markets article and the photo slideshow at the bottom of this post.
This year, we are spending the holidays with family and friends in the United States. Having been away from our family – and our home country – for so long, we take a few moments to enjoy some of the little things:
- Decorating the Christmas tree with family while recalling the story behind each ornament, from kindergarten projects gone awry to ornaments collected during journeys overseas.
- Enjoying A Charlie Brown Christmas. Timeless and refreshingly simple. Our favorite moment: Charlie Brown groans about Christmas becoming too commercial and Lucy responds, “Look, Charlie, let's face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.”
- Ogling Christmas lawn and roof ornaments, including inflatable Grinches and rooftop Santas in helicopters
- Giving money to the Salvation Army “man” ringing the bell outside the local grocery store.
- Baking Christmas cookies to make up for time on the road without a kitchen.
- Allowing Mom’s homemade holiday goodies (e.g., poppy seed kolach, toffee bars, and anise Christmas cookies) to temporarily transport us back to our childhood.
Finally, in the title, we promised perspective.
Rather than re-inventing the wheel, we offer a link to The Gift of the Magi, a tale for the ages written by O. Henry. Though first published in 1906, its lessons are perhaps no more relevant than during this holiday season.