It's three days after Solstice and Christmas Eve and well after Hannukah… and I have a ton of things to be thankful for. First and foremost for me: I have officially advanced to candidacy!

Halleluia! :)

Halleluia! :)

In case I didn't make it clear just how unutterably happy & relieved that makes me:


…yeah, THAT excited. :)

So, also inexpressibly delighted that we have a tree! :)  If I can figure out what google's done with my phone photos I'll add in the picture here later.

Finally, in the spirit of Solstices past, I'm including a few URLs that I much enjoyed, to share with friends. First something nifty about the origins of the season: Doe, A Deer — A Female Deer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas which I knew already due to my studies, but apparently many of my friends don't! Let's rectify this…

-and then let's have something silly and fun! As a very aspiring — as opposed to wildly successful — cook myself, this made me laugh so hard I cried! We'd Rather Eat Coal: A disturbing evening spent preparing vintage Christmas recipes.

Enjoy, and a very merry and blessed holidays to you all! :)

Later edit: Oooh, figured it out! Here's Goldie at the tree, & the tree from a different angle:

yay, treee!

yay, treee!

Goldie & c-mas tree! :)

Goldie & c-mas tree! :)

Aren't the reflections on the wooden floor pretty? I'm really thrilled too because this is the first full-sized tree we've had in something like two and a half decades — yay! It just feels more christmassy to me than the tiny tree I had to work with previous to this. Plus this tree is artificial, so sturdier when the cats decide to see if it's climbable (it is, though I didn't get any photos of the little monsters! :), and also the lights are both cool AND already wired in! Totally awesome, in my book — this way we get all the joy of a tree but don't have to kill one! Oh, and I absolutely love how beautifully colorful decorations are:

Many colors of the season

Many colors of the season

Handmade Polish hedgie ornament

Handmade Polish hedgie ornament

Handmade gold lace shooting star

Handmade gold lace shooting star

…and also how much fun it was to make some of my own decorations this year! The red and white exploding star is made of paper — they're surprisingly easy to make, too! They're a traditional Polish decoration, and their proper name (which I've forgotten & will have to look up later) translates as "hedgehog" — which I love! The little shooting star is a lace weave from gold thread, and also surprisingly easy to do — with the right pattern and tools, of course! I wouldn't want to try it from scratch. ;) But apparently lacework, like the hedgie-star, is effectively time-consuming but simple to do once you know how. Very cool! :)

I also wanted to mention one not-so-successful holiday attempt, mostly because it made me giggle so much when I pulled it out of the microwave. It was supposed to be a little brownie-cake in a mug. I call it the chocosplosion! ;)

Chocosplosion!

Chocosplosion!

Finally, because "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is my favorite holiday show, I have the following, filched from FB… as a happy reminder that it's not the loot — it's the sharing and joy that really make the season. :)

True meaning of Christmas :)

True meaning of Christmas :)

A very merry, blessed, and prosperous holidays and new year to you all!

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