It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
I’d already begun noticing it around the beginning of November, but is it ever really official before municipalities begin lighting the lights?
That’s what’s changed here this week… lit decorations adorning telephone poles & city squares… lemme show you…
In our little town, the square is now lit up with a carousel, some activity tents and festive music.
A sparkling tree and display of conifers sits over the city hall fountains which, in years past, was home to an outdoor skating rink, but which is no longer feasible because of the warmer winters. (The rink where Timo took a nasty tumble a few years ago, on the first day of his Christmas vacation).
As I drive around for teaching, I pass through dozens of little communities and each one has decked the halls in their own unique way. It’s different from when I was growing up in Canada, for there will not be the promise of snow, upon which the lights will cast their glow.
Houses tend to not be nearly as decorated back home, it’s a rarity really. I’m not sure if this is the norm or not, but if our house is any indication, there isn’t a single outdoor plug, so there’s no way to plug in a string of lights (or 10).
I do miss that…
It’s not just the city squares that are decked out… local shops put on their winter finery as well. Case in point: AnnAbé, the optician where Timo is currently doing his month-long internship.
The other night when I went to pick him up, I was a bit early so I took a stroll to see the lights and saw him working out back. Not wanting to disturb… I just stalked him from outside the store.
The rest of us…
… for me, teaching is winding down and we are moving into that part of December affectionately known as “marking season”, a time when end-of-semester tests must be marked and students work evaluated. I can’t complain too much as it’s not a heavy part of teaching.
For Sophie… who’s in her 3rd year of university… it’s going to be a heavy week of writing tests and semester projects. The thing that’s hard for me to wrap my head around is this: she didn’t know, until just this past week, what exams she would have next week! That’s pretty typical of the level of organization at her school (I also teach there – but don’t give my students a final exam – they have ongoing evaluation all semester) but, in my mind, just so inconsiderate to students.
Dominic and Soph headed up to Tours for the day on Thursday. He had to pick something up and they both needed a bit of a change of scenery to get some work done, so they found a little Guatamalan café and parked there long enough to tell you when the various rush hours occur throughout the afternoon / early evening.
Liz made her first batch of mocha crinkles yesterday… a wonderful little black cookie that only comes out to play at Christmas. In time will come the snickerdoodles as well, but not just yet. The Amazon packages have also begun appearing at out doorstep, a sign that she’s begun Christmas shopping. It’s an efficiency / availability thing for her… I’ve got to admit, I still like the strolling & perusing-in-stores bit… it’s happy chaos!
Today … is put-up-the-tree day for us, so I’d better get a move-on.
…for stopping by & touching base.
God bless you as you head into December!
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