This holiday season has really been an amazing one. We celebrated six months in Alaska on December 17th, and have managed to make some really great friends in the short time we’ve been here, who have made the huge transition a whole lot easier.
Matt was gone for most of December, making his way home on a very VERY cold Christmas Eve (technically day, since it was 3am but now is not the time to split hairs).
While he was gone, I did a lot!
I got to attend a cookie exchange, hosted by our lovely Texan Stephanie!
On top of everyone bringing cookies to exchange, Steph also made over 100 sugar cookies for us to decorate.
My friend Erin S. even got a cookie made in her likeness. What a lucky girl!
The cookie exchange was a lot of fun and a great way to spend time with some of the girls we hang out with before a lot of them went home for Christmas.
After the cookie exchange, I also got to go to a white elephant party! We were given a limit of $15, so I bought a metal flask (for keeping the bourbon cold on Alaskan hikes), the movie A Christmas Story, and a Christmas orange to give as my White Elephant gift.
It was a lot of fun, filled with great people and amazing mimosas (wanna pep it up? Add pomegranate seeds to your OJ & champagne mix. You won’t be disappointed)
We all were excellent gift givers, as seen below.
I was also able to go to the Alaska Zoo and see the Zoo Lights!
It was a very cold night (which sounds redundant because obviously every night in the winter is a cold one in Alaska), but it felt so cool to be able to see the animals after the sun was gone and Christmas lights lit everything.
One of the neatest things was the tiger: he kept pacing near the fence to where he was very easy to see. His size and beauty was stunning, and of course I thought of Clemson the whole time we were at the tiger yard!
The final christmas-y thing I did was go to our friend Erin S.’s handbell concert at her church. It was a christmas carol sing-a-long, so Erin O., Jason, & I sang our hearts out to Rudolph while Erin S. handbelled like a champ.
We also ate the cookies during intermission, which was apparently a no-no. Luckily, all was forgiven.
What an exhilarating way to spend my first winter in Alaska….and winter has only begun! I’ll leave you with some pictures of Sasha & Moose doing what they do best: