Each year, for 32 years (we missed one year, the Army had invited Mr. Right to be somewhere else) we have gone out, one night in December, in search for lights. Each of us gets to have a candy cane. I wait for it all year-long. I am not sure it is my all time favorite, the idea of the cool peppermint just builds and builds in my mind.
For a few years, we had cozy blankets, hot cocoa in a thermos and Alvin and the Chipmunks singing their tunes. The two short people in the back, loved, loved that music.
No matter what state or country we lived in, we made the date. As the people in the back of the van grew taller and had different musical tastes our listening tunes leaned more towards Dr. Demento, and his kooky take on the holiday. Hey! you have to do what you have to do to keep the teenagers coming along. There just happened to be snacks and candy canes and we got to stop to purchase hot cocoa at Starbucks. Way Cooler than cocoa from a thermos from home. ha
Some years, we went to certain neighborhoods that asked for a food bank donation and the whole neighborhood was decorated.
Other years we drove though a county display and paid a fee.
Some years, Mr. Right would find the list of top ten house in a 25 mile radius and the boys and him would plot out our evening trip. You would think they were plotting a military invasion. They figured out the shortest routes, best roads, which side of the street the house would be on, etc. They worked on it for a couple of hours. Did you catch that? They worked together, yep, teenage boys, brothers, worked together figuring out the best route to go see the best lit up houses.
The people in the back of our van, grew up, got married and had kiddos of their own. One year, we gave them a gift. We made sure it arrived the beginning of December. We sent each family a red plaid blanket, a CD of Dr. Demento, a great thermos, hot cocoa and candy canes. Good News, they have continued and added their own twist on driving around one night looking at lights.
Last night was the first time, ever that we went after Christmas. I don’t really know what happened? We were not that filled up with activities. I guess we just didn’t make it a priority. Then something amazing happened.
Last night was the first time ever that I just sat there and enjoyed the lights. NOT ONE TIME, did I think, okay when this is done, I can wrap a few more gifts. Okay, when we get home, I will have time to roll out one more batch of cookies. Once home, I can lay out my festive sweater to wear tomorrow.
We just sat there and enjoyed the moment.
To be honest, last night, Mr. Right invited me out for date night. Yes, a real Friday night date. A new restaurant we had been wanting to try. Amazing. Sumptuous food, excellent service, wonderful atmosphere. We became clean plate members, (yes, they give you more than enough). Um, we were just a bit piggy and over indulged and enjoyed every morsel.
The waitress came over and asked how everything was & asked if we had saved room for dessert.
I said no. Then Mr. Right interrupted and said, could you please tell us what you have to offer? She listed many delicious sounding items.
I always say no thank you. I can’t have sugar.
Wait, he said yes. He said we will share. He chose one of my old-time favorites. Tiramisu.
The dessert was amazing and wonderful and slightly sweet. It was presented on a pure white plate and was set between two European sized forks. It was so good. Really, I wanted to lick the plate, it was so good.
Reluctantly, we left the ambiance & amazing aromas of the wonderful family owned restaurant.
Both of us were completely satiated with food and drink and merriment and dessert.
For the first time in 33 years, we chose to leave the little 2 inch candy canes in the glove box.
I highly recommend date night. Yes, Virginia, it is that good.