Christmas 2023 holiday recap

Yes, it’s time for yet another Homeland Holiday review – now that I am done unpacking and washing laundry. (Note: I said I am done unpacking, not that I’ve put everything away. There is a difference!)

This was a 4-week visit to Washington State for Christmas and New Year’s with Dad. We didn’t go on any big road trips like we did over the summer, but we did manage loads of little trips – and only a few chores.

My journey home began in mid-December, arriving just in time for my brother-in-law to celebrate his birthday with me. Although I get the feeling he would have celebrated even if I wasn’t there. (I hold no grudges.) Dad and I then went to Cle Elum the next day to settle in for my month-long visit.

Just Frances and her Daddy. Happy times.

As always, my visit was a mix of working “my real job” and doing chores around the house. (Which I love, and not just because I am rewarded with food I love.) Before I even arrived, I had already decided what “chores” I wanted to tackle: The closet under the stairs and repairing a family heirloom Christmas tree. I also wanted to go through some of the stuff I have stored at the house so that I could bring more stuff back to Scotland with me.

And, I am pleased to say, all three of these things were accomplished – and more! Also, it was a nice little bonus that the newly tidied closet provided the perfect storage space for the Christmas tree. Bonus!

On my last two Christmases home, I spent Christmas in Cle Elum (the first with Mum and Dad, the second with just Dad) then New Year’s Eve at Royann’s with her family. This year, however, that was reversed. Dad and I spent Christmas at Royann’s then enjoyed a quiet New Year’s Eve at home. We enjoyed a nice dinner of shrimp creole and watched The Untouchables for our evening entertainment since I couldn’t convince Dad to watch The Godfather with me.

I began the new year by reflecting on 2023 in general, reviewing my 2023 goals, setting goals for 2024, going for a run, and then jumping into a freezing cold lake. So, all the normal things!

Just Frances, plunging into the icy waters on New Year’s Day

The last few days of my holiday were spent doing the finishing touches on my “chores”, dropping a few boxes at Goodwill, visiting family and friends, and preparing myself for a return to Scotland, to work, and to reality.

Now that I am back in Scotland, I will be working towards some of my 2024 hopes and dreams. There are a lot of (potentially) good things on the horizon and I am genuinely looking forward to working towards making them happen.

And, of course, it’s time to start thinking about my next trip home to America. Again.

Below are some of the photos from my holiday. For more pictures, see the following posts that have galleries attached:

Oh, Christmas tree
My culinary heritage: Christmas nutmeg cookies
Random December (2023)
Random January (2024)

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