Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ah, December!

On Thursday night, Saratoga Springs celebrated its 25th annual Victorian Streetwalk. The Handsome Husband and I joined thousands of others strolling Broadway, which was closed to traffic for the evening.
 There were folks in Victorian garb (not us, though) and lots of choirs and music groups both outdoors...
 and in.
 With the extra lights and decorated shops, it was a bright and cheerful event, despite the December chill.
 The HH* and I popped into a Saratoga restaurant we like and treated ourselves to a warming dinner.
 I took a photo of my salad, but was so hungry I forgot to photograph my entree before diving in. (Pasta and shrimp in a sage cream sauce. Definitely not the diet plate.) I like the northern Italian style food that Forno Bistro serves, including the shaved Grana Padano cheese laid over the top of the small dinner salads. (I looked it up and discovered that Grana Padano was created nearly 1,000 years ago by the monks of Chiaravalle Abbey. I add this with a wink to my friend Anita.)
 After dinner and a bit more strolling, we popped into the Saratoga City Center, recently remodeled, and checked out the festival of trees, benefiting Catholic Charities.
 I liked a tree decorated with snowy owls...
 ...which made me think of Mrs. Beck, whose daughter sometimes reads this blog ;-)
 Coneheads, anyone?
 This morning, I headed out to the Saratoga Farmers Market, which is held at the Division Street Elementary School during the winter months.
 This, too, is a cheerful, busy place, full of lots of good things to eat.
 People line up to buy Battenkill Valley Creamery milk in returnable glass bottles. This milk is also  available in local Hannaford markets. My son Thomas and I think this particular brand of milk is one of the best foods on earth. It's amazing how good it is: fresh, local, just awesome.
Tonight, the HH and I are off to a holiday get-together with some folks he works with in the summer.  And in a week, Nealie's neighborhood cookie swap is coming up.

I love this time of year. Christmas shouldn't be about just one day with a glut of presents. I like the idea of the season of Christmas, with special foods and spending time with friends and neighbors and family.

Tomorrow, on the second Sunday of Advent, we will light the second purple candle on our Advent wreath. That candle represents love. And then next week, on the third Sunday of Advent, the rose-colored candle is lit. The pink candle is customarily called the "Shepherds Candle" and it represents joy.

Here's hoping that your December is filled with love and joy, all month long.

* HH = Handsome Husband.