An Alaska Kinda Christmas

I have a new morning alarm. He's small, he's cute, he's awfully chatty and he goes off at precisely 6:48 every morning, no matter what time I get to bed at night. I'm not complaining, there's something wonderful about waking up to a lively one-sided conversation every day.

These days, my alarm and I get up and brew up an eggnog latte. I applaud whoever it was that invented the eggnog latte. Steamy nirvana in a mug. I read somewhere that every sip of eggnog shaves a month off your life. Then came along a low fat eggnog with 75% fewer calories than the regular life-limiting variety and nothing but pronounceable ingredients. That was a happy day for yours truly.

The next thing we do is plug in the many many strands of Christmas lights that adorn the inside of the house. The sun doesn't rise until about 10:00 so we in Alaska get some extra lovin' from our lights. The last thing we plug in is the strand of fish lights. We call them the Christmas fish. Someone gave them to Hunter back in Dillingham as part of a holiday gift exchange. We put them up every year after American Thanksgiving and for our family, they signal the start of the holidays. Because nothing says Christmas in Alaska like a strand of plastic green fish.

Then, my little alarm and I just sit back and wait for the day to unfold.

I'm loving the holiday season in Alaska. It's cold, there's snow and lots of lovely people around to celebrate with. This year, I'm thinking sledding party with a traditional Quebecois tourtiere and some hot buttered rum and something sinful for dessert. That's what I'm thinking - whether I can pull it off with two kids remains to be seen. Complicating this is that I can't seem to find a good sledding hill for the kids. I'm probably not looking hard enough. There's got to be one. Finding a good hill is on the top(ish) of my to do list this week.

For the first time in years, I'm looking forward to Christmas dinner. In Alaska, Christmas dinners are more informal, laden with great friends and amazing food. My house at Christmas is packed full of people. We eat dinner wherever we can find a place to sit, friends bring amazing food and wine to share and the kids run and play until they drop. I love it.

It is said that friends are the family we choose for ourselves. So, to all the wonderful Alaskans that I'm lucky enough to call friends, I raise a double shot, low-fat eggnoggy toast to you! Merry Christmas, everyone!