You know what that means.
McDonald's started using holiday cups this morning.
Truthfully, I'm a bit more excited than usual about the holidays. That could simply be due to the unseasonably cold weather (and they haven't turned on the heat in my office yet). Or it could be a reaction to skipping most things Christmas last year in the flurry of getting the condo ready to be painted.
No matter the reason, I'm almost ready to start singing Christmas carols.
Or not. Thanksgiving is in there first, and all the wonderful autumn flavors that go with it. At the moment, both a pie pumpkin and a butternut squash sit on my counter, patiently waiting their turns to jump into the oven. There will be oxtail soup this weekend, as well as pulled pork with two types of sauces.
Don't jump in the car just yet though, planning to "show up" around dinner time. Both those meals are already earmarked for other guests over the next couple of weeks. It's simpler to do the cooking over the weekend and freeze things than it is to try to do all the cooking the day of the event.
But if you do want to come for dinner (or lunch on a weekend), drop me a line and we can talk dates.
The holidays aren't all food. An on line Thanksgiving group devotional study begins on November 11th. In addition to the study, I'm thinking of keeping a gratitude journal of sorts for those two weeks. After Thanksgiving, I can jump into a couple of Advent devotionals/studies. I picked up a history of sorts of Handel's Messiah after the holidays last year. Somewhere in my books (this is probably a good time to finally and completely unpack the last of the boxes, huh?) there's an Advent devotional that takes a line or two at a time from the oratorio and cites the Biblical reference and gives a bit of a devotional reading.
Music...I'm toying with the idea of going to the MSO's Holiday Pops concert. They are also giving four performances of the Messiah, but all four are in churches around town. I've been to the performance in the Basilica (chilly and lousy acoustics); there are two more at the Cathedral (I can't think the acoustics would be much better) and one at a place very close to my home, that I think may be a retirement home of some kind.
Hopefully, I can carve out some time this weekend to sit down with an inspirational cup of cocoa and plan out the season.