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Merry Christmas! Today is what the Dutch call Tweede Kerstdag, or Second Christmas, which they use to celebrate with the other side of the family. Smart and practical, these Dutch. We are using it to celebrate with our friend Sarah this afternoon.

Our real Christmas yesterday was spent Skyping far away family members, making ourselves delicious food, watching copious amounts of Christmas movies, and taking a walk through the city with a thermos of hot chocolate. It was a little bittersweet to be just the two of us, without any family around. You can try your best to make a day festive and bright, but without the right people it’s just not the same.

Since I was really hoping for a white Christmas to cover the city, I spent the day embroidering my wishes and making my own snowflakes. I used Appleton crewel wool, the kind that really pops out–I love the texture!

Though it was a quiet Christmas celebration, it was still full of happiness and thanks and warm feelings. It’s something special to be able to take a Christmas walk around your neighborhood and see houseboats parked on canals, antique chairs waiting by the water, bridges festooned with lights, and 17th century buildings lining the streets. I consider myself pretty lucky this year.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

-Dr. Seuss

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