In Snowy Spirits.

Monday began as best as a Monday should.

With coffee and a spin class that included loads of Christmas music and The Grinch on the television.

And it was there that I not only realized that it was T-one week until Christmas, but where I realized something else. We were going crazy on an uphill climb on the bike, sweat pouring off my face and my mom and sister on both sides of me struggling as well, that I looked up to the screen to one of the best parts of the film.

They're down in Whoville celebrating the Whobilation and Augustus Maywho just proposed to Martha May Whovier. After the Grinch scratches the new car with his finger, he proclaims that that's what Christmas has always been about: gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts.

And to some extent, it's turned into that precisely. With a degree in marketing myself, I know that once Thanksgiving, heck, even Halloween ends, it promptly slips into the Christmas marketing magic. It's all about the gifts and we succumb into the commercialization and the madness of material.

To some people, it means different things. Whether you're religious or not, I think that without a doubt, this time of year is a magical time. It's about family, and love, and about being with people you care most about. Of course the wrapped presents under the tree are an added bonus, but what brings me the most joy is a fresh snowfall (like the one we got as a surprise today), playing UNO with my family, lengthy cat naps with Fudge (like the two hour one I had this afternoon), and getting into the holiday spirit.

Remember that the best Christmas memories aren't about gifts. They are about memories, feelings, people, and holiday cheer. You can't buy them in a department store and you can't order them online with free shipping. They're free. And they're what makes Christmas... Christmas.

Alaska's greatest gift to me: snow!

All dressed up in the spirit of Christmas...

Elan, always so graceful when walking through the snow...

What I wore: white vintage holiday scarf (used), black Cosabella jersey dress (Mom's), and cream Frye ankle boots (consignment).