It's The Holidays. There's pretty much nothing about The Holidays that I don't love, unless you count little squabbles with a "somewhat petty" husband about the cost of Christmas Gifts and Holiday Feasts, or not having enough leftover stuffing to really feel quenched. But overall, I just adore this time of year. This year is nice, because for whatever variety of unjustified reasons, and a healthy dose of prozac, I am overall, as happy as I can remember being. Maybe it's the ridiculous puppy that wakes me up in the morning chewing on my arm - or was that my husband doing a zombie impression? Or maybe it's the smell of Peppermint Dreams, which may be my newest Scentsy favorite (call me shallow). Or maybe it's sorting out 17 boxes of glorious Pendleton Blankets and being able to tell the story behind each one because I am totally geeking out and reading the blanket books in lieu of Wisdom Searches every day. Sorry Dad, but Proverbs got worn out. Anyway, I am content, but not in a things-are-ok way, more content in a things-are-warm-and-fuzzy-and-even-if-you-are-a-little-bit-of-a-jerk-it's-nothing-a-gingersnap-latte-won't-fix kind of way. The one pang of sadness I have is for the friends, and the family that I haven't or won't see this season. I miss my besties from back home, even though back home is really here, now, I miss lunch (and breakfast) at the Mustang Grill, Karaoke and crispy chicken salad at the Whitebird. I miss sledding with 20 people and hot chocolate and snowplowing down sheep creek road in a pickup. I miss dark nights on friends couches with cheesy movies and doing dishes in hot sudsy water with my best friend. I miss BBQed turkey and Backwoods Cigars. I miss hockey practices, hockey games, expensive Canadian Lattes that have some magical ingredient I still haven't found anywhere else. I miss my kids still thinking everything was cool, instead of nothing is cool. I miss making chai lattes every morning to be picked up en route to work by only the most privileged of friends, who probably didn't even like chai but liked the excuse to stop by. I miss so many things, but look forward to recreating some memories with new friends, like smashing together Gingerbread Hovels and stacks of hundreds of puffy sugar cookies in indeterminate shapes. I can't wait to cruise Bend looking for the BEST Christmas Lights and fight with my teenagers over who gets to wear the cool snow pants. I am excited to go snow shoeing at night, in the dark, seeking out a bonfire with the aid of a warm thermos full of hot cocoa and schnapps. And I am excited to go home and visit at least some of my old friends. Some places you can never really go back to, and that's ok, I've still got the smells and sounds and warm fuzzies in my head. But dropping in at Christmas for a hug and a frantic download of community gossip is enough for now. I can say that my Auld Acquaintances haven't been forgot - but I'll still raise a cup of kindness for Auld Lang Syne.