I can't believe that a week from today will be Christmas Eve!
The realization is sinking in, though. We had Sundance volunteer sign-up on Monday, in preparation for the festival in January. Another reminder was holiday parties have been taking place with greater frequency. It's great to see old friends and relatively new but very special friends as well. The scene above greeted me and some friends when we arrived at Liana's home on Tuesday.
Friday, DH and I made the long trip to Trudi and Fred's home for our annual Christmas party and the reunion of all the National Olympic Committee Assistants who were assigned to Germany during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Trudi always makes us a great dinner.
We had a great time reminiscing, and after dinner we Skyped with Georg, who was our "boss" during the Olympics. He worked for the National Olympic Committee. To Skype with us, he had to get up very early in the morning, because he lives in Germany. It was great to talk with him again. We wore our uniforms and took a group photo. I'll post it if I can get a copy.
The tree was beautiful, as it is every year:
It had real candles on it. We lit the candles and sang Christmas carols, in German, of course!
Trudi knows I like to knit, too, so she showed me her latest project:
This cardigan is for her, but now Fred needs one. It appeared to be DK-weight, and is 100% wool. She didn't steek it, so she had to do half of the knitting while dealing with the pattern on the back side, which can be a challenge.
Vintage Stitchers also had their annual potluck at Rebecca's. Carol brought this great 9-patch quilt top for show-and-tell.
She had the same thing to deal with that I had with my Glorified Nine-patch quilt, which was my first quilt: you have to have five squares of one fabric and four squares of another fabric for each block. I love how she added the cornerstones.
The backing is just as lovely! This quilt will definitely be reversible!
Rebecca showed us her latest cross-stitch projects. She does the framing herself.
I love this snowman!
Getting to all the parties has been challenging, as well as getting to church and the grocery store! We have had a series of storms come through, even though it has been warmer than usual. We have had lots of snow, but not as much as usual has remained on the ground. Here's what our street looked like yesterday afternoon:
Santa even made it to Washington to visit with my niece and her DH:
I don't know how Santa finds the time to listen to the Christmas wish lists of so many children (and adults) in so many different locations when he must be very busy getting ready for his great trip Christmas Eve! You will definitely want to track Santa on his trip, which is just next week. You can do that with the NORAD app for smart phones and devices, such as the iPhone and iPad. No tracking number needed, though!
We have made some progress on the renovation. Several of the doors have been stained and sealed. If DH doesn't finish them in time, he will reinstall them and put the door handles on, so they can be used while we have family here for Christmas. Our contractor came back to put the door on the laundry chute. It isn't his fault it's so late. DH had to stain and seal the door, so it was part of the big job he had to do. We're still waiting on the sheet-metal chute, which will direct the clothes past the shelves in the laundry room and into the laundry basket (or maybe the floor).
The good news is, we have been able to put all our clothes away in the closets, including many of the off-season clothes we had stored in the guest bedroom downstairs. We have also put away all the usual bathroom items (toiletries, medicines, first-aid supplies, etc.) and there is still room left.
In this season of joy, citizens of the US and the world are mourning the loss of innocent life. We hear of slaughter of innocent people around the world, even today, but the sheer magnitude of the loss of young lives here on our doorstep is impossible to comprehend, especially after a series of other similar events. I was reminded by someone on Sunday that next week we not only commemorate on Christmas Day the birth of Jesus (to me and other Christians, our great teacher) but also on December 28th, the feast day of the Holy Innocents, the children massacred by King Herod because of his irrational fear that one of them might someday be the "King of the Jews" referred to by the Magi. I'm saddened to think that in 2,000 years, we have not figured out a way to prevent the loss of innocent life, even in a country that has been responsible for great accomplishments. I pray that we find a way to keep as many children and others here and around the world safe from future violence and premature death. I will hug my grandchildren very close when they come the end of this week!