I stuff my feet down into my boots, with two pairs of thick socks and grab my heaviest winter coat. My sock monkey hat on my head, gloves shoved in my pockets and scarf slung over my shoulder ready to protect my face from the biting, bitter cold that awaits outside my door.
A splash of peppermint schnapps in my cup, topped with hot chocolate from the pot on the stove and I’m ready. Camera in one hand, boozy cocoa in the other. This is Christmas Eve.
Every year, I would trek out in the very late night hours around my neighborhood to look at the Christmas lights. Our neighborhood was infamous. People came from all over to tour the houses, photographing nearly every single one… And I lived there. I would wait until the throngs of people no longer blocked every inch of sidewalk, the crowds had all gone home, the tour buses no longer clogging up the streets. I waited. Finally, when the night was quiet and the only sound was the snow and ice crunching under my boots, I made my annual rounds.