It’s Christmas Eve. And it’s 70 degrees outside.  It’s wacky weather for New Jersey.

It’s been so warm that early flowering plants —  daffodils, hyacinths, forsythia and blooming trees, are starting to emerge. More on that another day.  Right now, I’m just hoping the rain clears up so that we can put out our luminarias.  An annual tradition, the Rotary sells lumanaria kits and throughout our small town the display is stunning, as a continuous trail of light mark paths through the night, block after block, Main street and back street.  When everyone awakens on Christmas morning, many are still burning bright.

We’re hosting my husband’s family this evening.  More traditions, as we sing carols for our gifts and enjoy Scandanavian treats, such as Glogg (mulled wine), Finnish Pulla and Joulutorttu, and sing and dance to 70’s Christmas recordings in Swedish (Tomtegubbar) and German.  And I’ve baked my more traditional “American” cookies.  Now it’s time to prep the vegetables. A little later, salmon.

With the holiday rush, remember to take a moment to pause and reflect. Count your blessings. Spend time with those you love. And consider the reason for the season.