There is no snow in the Willamette Valley, not even close. But December holidays still feel like snowmen, drifts, lights hung on houses, and all those things the midwest steeped me in.
Of course, there's no snow there, either.
The holidays have been a feast of eating, laughing and hugging. I'm so thankful for my very good friends and family who are near, and those who are far. I'm also thankful to know of many people who I have a feeling are soon to be very good friends.
Here's two neat holiday tips for next time (or perhaps your next birthday party). Amaze your friends with "tapeless wrapping." Simply use double sided sticky tape, available in various sizes at craft stores, and place the tape UNDER the flaps of your gift wrap. They stick down well without any visible tape. This amazes people, and it does look very clean and slick. I wrap packages on a self-healing cutting mat along with a rotary cutter and Xacto knife which allows for quick trimming of wrap to proper size and straight lines.
For small packages, the most awesome wrap job can be done with handmade papers. Salem has The Art Department downtown which sells a lovely variety of handmade papers. I had fallen in love with a fibrous dark brown paper with what looked to be handpainted twigs and cherry blossoms. It made a great wrap for a number of small prsents.
Missing a pretty platter to take a cake or other yummy to a party? Wrap a flat cookie sheet in wrapping paper, then wrap it again in Saran wrap. Tada. This is my favorite cake. It doesn't look like much, but it tastes incredible. Pineapple Rum Upside Down Cake. Yum yum.