We returned from vacation a month ago and have been busy, busy, busy as the season typically dictates. Rich has lots of holiday parties, banquets and special events to handle at the hotel so he was working on many of his days off and staying later than usual through Christmas. I hate to say it, but I tend to get a little grumpy and melancholy during the holidays if I don't make a serious effort to be cheerful. I think it's the combination of cold weather, early darkness, being home by myself more than usual, and missing all of the kids and grandkids at Christmas time. I admit to a little bit of envy of those who have their families nearby and kids and grandkids running in and out of the house.
But it's Unalaska and we do make our own fun! My friend Melanie and I have our own little tradition of playing holiday tunes on the radio for several days leading up to Christmas. We both love Christmas music and have hundreds of songs between us. We're not really sure if many people listen or enjoy the show as much as we do, but we have a blast every year.
Rich made some gnocchi from scratch one night and it sure was good! People often ask me if he cooks at home since he is responsible for running restaurants all day (and cooking part of the time at work). They usually look at me like, "Surely he doesn't bother at home, right?" Or "But poor you, you have to do it at home, don't you?" I love getting to say, "YES! He cooks at home ALL the time! I am spoiled!"
But I WILL say that I have started what I am calling "The Pie Experiment." Yes, I am baking pies. More on that in another post...I think my pies deserve their own special place in the spotlight.
Our friend Andrea moved away a few months ago so we were super happy when she came back for a visit. We had a group breakfast at Amelia's before she flew off and left us again.
On Christmas Day, Rich and his crew worked all day making food for the public and then they made food for the Hospitality Division's annual Christmas dinner and party. It's the only day of the whole year when most of the cooks, servers, bartenders, housekeepers, public attendants, front desk clerks, managers and all the rest of the hotel staff get a few hours off at the same time. Even Santa showed up. I tried to convince him that I've been a really good girl this year. I'm not sure if he bought it. :)
Rich on the far right, with (L to R) Zach, Laurie and Art
So Christmas was pretty quiet other than the dinner thing--Rich worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and I hung out at home, made some phone calls, worked on my New Year's cards, did some chores. We don't typically exchange gifts any more because we are always going on some sort of great vacation either right before or during the holidays so we have begun to call that our gift to each other. My mom and the girls and Rich's sister sent us lots of goodies and it's always fun to check the mail every day for cards and packages. Last year, Bonnie and David sent us a package via priority mail and it took 65 days to get here! I'm happy to report that we had no repeat this season.
We stayed in for New Year's Eve and Day--we are pretty
*by commenting "Look, it's midnight somewhere else."
Life is good and we are fortunate and grateful. I know there are many in the world who are suffering in so many ways, and I would love to be a zillionnaire so I could take care of all of them. I wouldn't mind paying more taxes and I would give away as much as I could to do my part to alleviate hunger and sickness and poverty and abuse and as many circumstances as I could change. I don't think we need more guns, but I do think we need more peace, love and understanding in 2013. You know we can change the world. I'm in. How about you?