Monday, December 8, 2008

Baby it's cold outside

It's really cold now. Like, Chicago cold. I am not even getting the "Oh that's nothing" from the locals anymore, it's that cold. I only go outside wearing long, silk underwear, jeans, boots, two pairs of socks of which one must be winter socks (woolen) and two to three layers on top. Plus of course, scarf, gloves and hat. One time I didn't wear my hat, I swear my ears felt like ice cubes when I got home. It hurt my fingers to touch them. It's that cold.
It's even cold inside. Our cat spends most of her time either wrapped in our duvet or on the heating. Here she is in our bed:

Luckily our lovely, yet environmentally aware neighbors helped us with the "cold inside" issue (we have central heating which is in their apartment).

But to be honest, I don't mind it so much. We have a lot of snow and I really missed the snow during my years in the Netherlands. I missed the snow and I missed Christmas. For those who don't know - the Dutch don't celebrate Christmas that much, they celebrate "Sinterklaas" on December 5th (by the way - Happy belated Sinterklaas to all my friends in Holland!).

America is very good at putting you in a Christmas spirit. I can imagine that the "Christmas buh humbug" people of the world will find it annoying. But I am not one of them. I love it. I love Christmas decorations, I love Christmas music (except "Last Christmas" by Wham, which is the only Christmas song that they play to death in the Netherlands), I love Christmas trees and TV programs on how to decorate and make Christmas cookies. I love egg nog. I even love Christmas shopping (I did pretty much all of my Christmas shopping online this year, no crowds but you still have the shopping satisfaction). Right now I am listening to the Christmas song radio channel. 

I have to say when we lived in Delft it at least had the advantage of being really pretty. They would hang up some clear lights around Christmas time and it looked somewhat christmasy since Delft is just so damn cute.
But the weather - well - ask me in a few years but so far I'd take 4 or 5 month of cold and snow  but sunshine (Chicago) over 7 month of non-stop rain and humidity (the Netherlands).

Two days ago we got our tree. It's the first Christmas tree I had since I left Austria and I am very excited. Unfortunately I pulled a muscle in my back yesterday when we went to get some ornaments from the store (we bought a dresser too and I pulled the muscle by trying to lift it). It's pretty painful and since I don't have health insurance yet (I get it in January) I just have to sit it out. It's been getting better though. 
Anyway, pain or not - I had this beautiful tree in front of me, so I had to decorate it. I popped two Aleve and took my time but ended up with a nice tree I think:

In the back round you can see our yellow walls.

And some close up pictures:

We also have some other decorations in the room but I will take pictures of that some other time when everything is finished.

Hope you guys are excited about the upcoming holidays!


contrarybear said...

I helped with the tree!

contrarybear said...

Oy veh! I think you jinxed us with your comment about the rain. Holland is getting back at us.

Maria said...

Beautiful tree!