Every year Mum and Dad would pack Jessica and I into the car and we would drive into the city, usually after dinner. Our special treat was always a Hungry Jacks (Burger King for my US friends) soft serve ice cream cone. After all the gorgeous hand churned, locally produced, organic and artisan ice cream I have eaten, one bite of one of these can still take me back to those nights with my family. In fact, whenever I am in the city at Christmas time there is some kind of special magic. somehow I shrink back down to a little girl in a red and white dress, white sandals strapped to my feet and ribbon in my hair.
|Trent and Jess|
|Papa Bear and Mama Bear|
|Not little girls anymore|
Although the windows were not as good as they once were, the tree was still beautiful and the night was just as magical as I remember. After a wonderful dinner at Vapiano we marvelled at the tree, checked out some of the stores (and did some Christmas shopping for the little Chickpea) and had some quality people watching time.
|Gluten free gnocchi pomodoro with parmigiano - delicious!|
Although we didn't get to have our soft serve ice cream cones, Mum and I shared our favourite (lemon sorbet) while we browsed a book store.
Now I am sitting at home beside my own beautiful tree, an indulgence I allow myself every night leading up to Christmas when everyone else has gone to bed.
There is something in the glow of the lights that sends time away, shifts me into that special place where I can reflect on all that I have learnt over the past year, all that has changed and grown inside since those lights last shone into the night.
I think that is a tale for another night though. Tonight I am going to sleep with the same peace as my 8 year old self, the same excitement for the magic of Christmas, and the grown up knowledge that the real magic is the wonder of family, the miracle of friends, and the myriad blessings in my life every day of the year.