The first time I visited Minnesota was 2 days after Walker and I got engaged. I’m not sure now how true my memory is—feet of snow, landing in a blizzard, unimaginable cold, and a house full of hugging family at the end. But we did land in a snow storm, and there was a lot of snow on the ground already. The temperatures sunk under 0 and Christmas was unreal, Nordic, and magical. Walker’s entire extended family celebrated Christmas Eve together with the same traditions we celebrate now, 7 years later:
Gingerbread houses for all the girl cousins.
Walker’s youngest cousin told me mine looked like a clown’s brain, thank you very much.
Reading the Christmas story together, exchanging gifts, the great pickle ornament search, my mother-in-law’s Santa gift bags (mine had glitter nail polish and the fuzzy socks you’ll see on Christmas day!), 13 types of Christmas cookies.
And welcoming smiles from everyone, including Walker’s grandma, who he calls Mrs. Claus.
And we had a white Christmas.
With lots of tossed paper
and presents like vacuums and jeans. One of my favorite presents was a shower curtain. #boringadult
My mother-in-law makes life super fun, and always leads us on a complex treasure hunt for our biggest present. This year’s hunt included QR codes, puzzles, a poetry word hunt, music note matching, and lovely surprises at the end. We've got our thinking faces on.
On Boxing Day, my Scandinavian man lured me for a walk in weather that felt like single digits.
The path around a local lake was crisped in snow, and the only other walkers we found told us to look out for the bald eagles, which kited over the lake as the sky snapped deep pink. Deer crossed our paths.
And I thought I was losing toes, but thankfully came home to discover that was not the case.
I was born into and married into the very best of families. So thankful for them and a season where we were all together.