12-7-20 Christmasy weekend!

Christmas lights, baked goods, music, a Christmas tree, and movies filled my weekend. Shari and I went to the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield on Saturday evening where we wandered around the grounds looking at all the Christmas lights. Shari had never been to this botanic gardens before and I had never been for their holiday lights celebration before so we were both excited. The gardens look so beautiful when you drive up towards them, and you can see the whole space laid out before you without even having to pay. There’s something about seeing lights on at night that just fills me with warmth and joy. I think we’ll be going out to see other Christmas lights later this month because I definitely didn’t get my fill this weekend.

I so enjoyed myself as we meandered the gardens, passing under multi colored tunnels, crossing rainbow bridges, listening to children as they felt the wonder of the season, and gazing up at a tree completely covered in lights. Look at that tree, isn’t it incredible?! That must have taken some time, to wrap all the main branches in green and the leaf branches in purple. I think it was a favorite of both mine and Shari’s. I am so grateful that the Botanic Gardens put up lights this year because every once in a while I need to get out of the apartment and go do something, and this was perfect. I’ve been thinking about spotlighting my favorite places around Denver and my favorite things to do around Denver as a way to keep up my spirits as darkness creeps in on us early these days and the cold seeps under my skin and I still can’t see my friends and family. So we’ll see where that goes.

Anyway, after exploring the gardens and even peeking in on some sleeping chickens, Shari and I went back to her place to eat pizza and watch a Great British Bake off holiday special. It was lovely. What’s more perfect than evening with someone I care about and then curling up on the couch under a warm blanket, eating food, and watching people bake delicious looking goodies?

But the festivities didn’t end there! Yesterday, I put on my Christmas garb and spent a good portion of the day doing holiday type things. Shari came over to help and I finally, finally, made gingerbread cookies. I’ve been telling myself for years that I want to make them, but for some reason, the fact that they have molasses in them, has always been intimidating, and I continued to push it off for another year. But not this year! I used the recipe that I got from the Viking River Cruise all those years ago because I remember those cookies being fluffy and light and delicious and I wanted those. The ones I made did not turn out at all how I remember them being, so I am definitely confused, but still proud that I followed through (only took me 7 years!). I tested out some icing on them now and they do taste better and a little less molasses-y because oh boy is it a stronger flavor without icing.

We also turned on Christmas music, lit a holiday scented candle, and got to work decorating for Christmas. Putting up a Christmas tree is a must for me. I don’t need any other decorations (although I do have a few) as long as my Christmas tree is up. Elisabeth pointed out yesterday that I have the majority of the ornaments between the two of us. She is not wrong. I have a lot of ornaments, what can I say? I made a lot as a kid and got at least one new one every year growing up. So may of these ornaments mean something to me, I can’t get rid of them, I enjoy them way too much. The tree turned out gorgeous, as always, and now I can admire the red, green, and gold glow of Christmas right within my home.

Shari and I then made a spice cake ’cause I was determined to bake two things that day, and we made Vietnamese peanut rice and lemongrass tofu for dinner that was delicious. I was skeptical of it the first time we made it because I usually don’t like peanuts or peanut flavored food in dinners but this dish has changed my mind. I may have already mentioned this recipe previously but it bears mentioning any and every time I make it because you all should try it too.

During dinner we video chatted with Kayla to show off our Christmas decor and say a quick hello and afterward we watched a new movie, Happiest Season. The day went by way too quickly and I could have easily used another two to three hours to revel in the holiday spirit and relax but I guess I’ll have to spend those hours enjoying life and the season another day. 😉

P.S. It’s my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday, Mom! ❤

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