Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tis the Season

It's the 15th of December and already we've enjoyed some lovely Christmas celebrations. Our tree was up a week (or two!) before Thanksgiving, so it's been the "Christmas" for quite a while now.

(Please note: The stache was the last remnant of Garrick's winter beard. It was shaved approximately two minutes after this photo.)

Handel's Messiah

Before the Messiah, we gathered at the flat of Jesse and Liana for festive treats and chat, along with the Brewer clan. We entered Holy Trinity Parish Church at 7:15pm and took our seats in the very hard pews. Candles lit, the choir and orchestra shuffled in. Their voices were clear, well-rehearsed, and moving. The "Hallelujah Chorus" was of course a favorite, and Garrick and I will make an effort to go every Christmas season.

 Photo: About to enjoy Handel's Messiah!
An American Christmas Classic!
We cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal from beginning to end. Neither Garrick or I enjoyed reaching our hand into the turkey to retrieve the "bits." We invited some of my Scottish (and one English!) coworkers over for a night of Thanksgiving food, Elf, and a White Elephant gift exchange. Fun was had by all and every plate was clean. As we are always taking in Scottish culture, sharing some our our American traditions was a welcome change.
 Bible Study Christmas Party
What a blessing these women are! We gathered at our usual time of 7:30pm on Tuesday night, everyone bearing a gift and treat to share. We discussed our Christmas plans and hopes. I also participated in my second White Elephant exchange, and may have re-gifted a gift from the first one...
St Mary's Postgrad and Staff Party
What do you get when you combine wine, minced pies, and a room full of academics? A hilariously stimulating and awkward party. Thankfully, I spotted a comfortable yellow char in the corner of the room and was joined by some of my lovely friends. The gathering took place in the St Mary's Senior Common Room, which is quite impressive with blue walls, beautiful draperies, and baby grand piano in the corner.
German Christmas Market

We and the Toomans (Bill, Tricia, Liam, and Cole) caught an early Saturday morning train to Edinburgh. As we walked toward the market along Princes Street, I felt that carnival rides and history were colliding:

We made our way through several outdoor stands selling German goodies of all kinds: fresh sugared donuts, mulled wine, bratwurst, pork sandwiches, candied almonds, apple strudel, pretzels - hungry yet? Along with the amazing food, many hand-made gifts make the market a Christmas shoppers paradise! After a day taking in all the sights and filling our hungry bellies, we napped on the train home to St Andrews. Thanks to the Toomans for a wonderful day!

Merry 15th of December!

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