I've always loved the magic of Christmas, but as my nieces and nephew grow, their excitement over the holiday has made Christmas exponentially more fun. Over the course of the week, we made gingerbread trains, read lots of new books, and on Christmas Eve, we even got a fresh dusting of snow to play in! I can't remember the last time we had snow on Christmas in Seattle, and while it certainly made it more of a challenge around, we had a great time walking through the dark snowy streets of my mother-in-law's neighborhood. Since she lives most of the way up a steep hill, we also participated in the Seattle spectator sport of watching adventurous (or reckless) drivers sliding around in failed attempts to get up or down the treacherous hill. Waiting for the road conditions to improve also meant we got to stay up late, spending extra time playing card games with Andy's family. While being stranded by the weather is always a little stressful, it's also fun to forget the concerns of everyday life for a few hours and feel cut off from the greater world. I always appreciate an opportunity to play games, share a drink, and watch the snow fall.