Since my boxes arrived, I now have my heavy coat and plenty of clothes to layer, so I can venture out and enjoy the lights adorning the city.

There are no less than five huge Christmas trees within five blocks of where I live. It’s nice to have the pleasure of seeing all the festive decorations without having to do anything other than walk around:)

My friends had two birthdays within a week, so they combined the party and made a “simple” dinner. Yes, this is their version of simple for seven adults and three children. There was foie gras (which I haven’t had since they made it illegal in California), stuffed cherry tomatoes, spicy sausage, and a tuna appetizer. Of course no celebration here is served without champagne, so we shared several bottles, along with some wine with dinner.

Dinner was a simple green salad with chives, this tuna and tomato tart, and a quiche Lorraine baked without a crust.

We saved room for dessert, a Vacherin Glacé, made of sorbet, ice cream, whipped cream, and meringue, with one candle for each birthday person and a raft of candles for the kids to blow out.

It was an indoor version of the lights on my pedestrian street, lit up at dusk every night and illuminated until past midnight. The outdoor LED bulbs twinkle, so it’s like walking under a canopy of stars on my way home:)