…went pretty well! I do prefer a white Christmas, of course, but after eight years in Florida, I can still maintain the holiday spirit without it. And this holiday season was pretty festive!

Santa visited the kids at the Ambassador’s residence…and arrived in style in a Diplomatic Security motorcade. Our son totally surprised me and burst into tears on, and fought for his life to be removed from, Santa’s lap in the manner of small children the world over. I honestly wasn’t expecting it…he’s such a friendly and outgoing baby, having been forcefully socialized in daycare since he was eight weeks old. But I guess Santa can be pretty intimidating.

Next we had the Ladies’ Christmas Cookie Exchange…at our house! I don’t know if that was the official title, but it was in lieu of our monthly Ladies’ Night by the pool, so I think it’s a safe assumption. And we had a great turnout! About 10 people showed up with two dozen of their favorite cookies…all homemade…except mine, which I purchased from the store. Iced oatmeal. I’m all about full disclosure though, so I didn’t try to pass them off as my own and was only lightly harassed for cheating. One of the girls asked if I’d at least taste tested them and checked the expiration date on the package. Check. And check. 😉

I was also excited to be able to break out my new Christmas decorations. We didn’t decorate a lot on the outside of the house. I think only one person on the compound did…a single guy in his late 20s. Good for him! But I wanted lots of red inside the house…since we have so much green everywhere else. We already had a “silk” poinsettia and a fake tree, so I ordered a lovely red damask table cloth from Lennox, two varieties of holiday potpourri, two poinsettia garlands with lights (one worked, one didn’t). And, of course, we can’t forget the fabulously-tacky-but-oh-so-tropical Santa and reindeer lawn flamingos (I guess I did decorate outside). I also made mulled wine for the occasion and played great crooner Christmas music. And the company and conversation were fantastic. It was truly a lovely evening.

The following night was the embassy employee Christmas party at the Ambassador’s residence. It was very nice and relaxing. We mingled, chatted with our neighbors, followed the line through the buffet, enjoyed a couple glasses of wine, and cheered people on on the dance floor. My mother even danced with the Ambassador. I’ve been told on several occasions that we have one of the coolest Ambassadors in the Foreign Service. So I’m pretty sure that was a once-in-a-lifetime event. 😉

Tonight we will be attending a cocktail party at the DCM’s house. Then Saturday we’ll be heading to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye for New Year’s weekend. Hopefully my next post will be all about what a great time we had!