So the winner today is something you sip on during the holidays, which could obviously include hot chocolate, but nothing beats a glass of mulled wine! This isn’t something that was part of my tradition, but Philippe started doing it each year and so it’s become our new tradition at the holidays.
Mulled wine starts with wine, of course, to which you add mulling spices and orange zest, among other things. It’s the perfect way to do something with that cheap bottle of wine someone brought to your last party. Not that this ever happens, but should it occur, just mull that baby and give it some new life.
We had mulled wine while we were putting up our Christmas tree, and may have it again in the next couple weeks. Right now, the race is still on for getting gifts. Philippe loves to give gifts almost more than receiving them and he gets insanely excited during this week. He keeps sort of but not quite mentioning what he bought me and can barely contain himself.
All of our main gifts are opened on Christmas Eve. Not all at once, but throughout the evening as we eat the one thing I can make, gravlax, and the amazing foie gras that Philippe makes. We spend the evening snacking and drinking wine and watching the clock to see if it’s time to open another gift. I love watching Philippe choose which gift he will let me open and the look on his face as he sits just a couple feet away watching me, practically shivering with anticipation. This could end awkwardly were he not such an amazing gift giver!
I, on the other hand, am still struggling with what to get him. Though I have managed a few gifts, he’s just informed me that his count is slightly higher than mine and he’s not done. Since, equal numbers are required for this little tradition, I have to figure out something else to buy him in the next 48 hours or risk not having it arrive on time. Or much worse, actually have to set foot in a store at this time of year. The thought of which makes me cringe.
I envy people who are amazing at always selecting the perfect gift. Perhaps they have magical powers I simply don’t possess, or perhaps they’re not always trapped in their own head and are more observant. Either way, I’m not one of them and so I just end up getting whatever weird thing comes to mind. Sometimes this ends up well and other times it’s just a weird thing. But Philippe doesn’t seem to mind and it never makes the evening any less fun.
A few of the gifts I have already purchased I wrapped today and placed under the tree. When I picked up Philippe from work and told him, he said it’s too soon and I needed to hide them immediately. He waited downstairs my the garage while I ran up and frantically looked for a place to stash them. I don’t remember this being part of our tradition, but apparently, the gifts have to come out at the last minute. Based on my current lack of shopping success, this could work out quite well!