Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you all healthy, safe, and enjoying the holiday season. I love this point in the holidays. We are almost out of time to shop for anything that needs to be shipped. My menu for the week is done as well as the grocery list. One more trip to the stores and then nowhere to go. It is strange that I feel that way this year because I have been home so much as have all of you. I guess it is the planner in me. My planning for the holidays is almost complete.

Happy Sunday!

Just The Four Of Us

For many of us, our holiday season is different due to COVID. No parties and, as we did with Thanksgiving, we will likely just have our household for holiday meals. For some, that may not be what you are used to. For me, it is very much the norm. Sure, the lack of festivities is hitting home. My favorite party of the season is now going to be a drive-by tomorrow night.

Our immediate family is small and was so to begin with. My husband and I lost our parents over two decades ago. We each have one sibling. You know mine is gone and we usually spend Thanksgiving with David’s sister. So our tradition has really centered around me, my husband and our two kids.

Ten years ago, I took a risk. I gave David an early birthday present (his birthday is in January). It was going to be his 50th. He came home on an afternoon in mid-December and I let him know the kids and I had an early birthday present for him. He was game and opened his gift and found 4 round trip tickets to Italy and a travel book. He looked at me and said, “No. No. No, I can’t do this. I cannot be gone from work that long.” I let him know, I had already cleared it with his boss. Ha! Soon, the objecting stopped. He grabbed a glass of wine, a cigar and headed to the deck to start perusing the travel book. We had both been to Europe before but not Italy. The kids had never been to Europe. That year, we spent Christmas in Rome and New Year’s in Venice and spent time in Florence and Tuscany in between. Traveling to Europe during the holidays is a lot of fun and much less crowded. It became a tradition every other year for a while.

Sunrise at Stonehenge for the Winter Solstice. It was the first time you could see the sunrise in over a decade.

The next trip we did over the holidays was based on my daughter’s 7th grade history day project. Her topic was about the Parthenon marbles, half of which are in London and in possession of the Brits. We spent Christmas in London and New Year’s in Athens. Such an amazing trip. The kids and I (David hadn’t arrived yet) will never forget the ceremony and sunrise at Stonehenge for the Winter Solstice. It had been cloudy with no site of the sun for over a decade. We got lucky and got to see the sun rise.

Two years later we spent Christmas in Barcelona and New Year’s in Paris. We spent Christmas day walking through La Sagrada Familia. Can you believe there are no fireworks on New Year’s in Paris? On New Year’s Eve day, we shopped at the outdoor markets and everyone got to pick their favorite foods. We sat around our big table in our Airbnb eating, drinking, and celebrating. Longing for travel, I think I will have to look back through my photos this holiday.

A top the Cathedral of Barcelona.

Last-Minute Gifts You Don’t Have To Ship!

There is still time if you are looking for gifts for the holidays! Three great options are below.

The gift that lasts all year long! New perks coming in 2021. Gift one of our three options for the Brooks Wine Club.


Give the gift of choice. Any dollar amount you desire and it arrives electronically.


Virtually travel to the Willamette Valley and dive into the world of kombucha, coffee, gardening or cooking. The unique experience of Beyond Brooks line up will bring joy and fun!

Virtually travel to the Willamette Valley and dive into the world of kombucha, coffee, gardening or cooking. The unique experience of the Beyond Brooks line up will bring joy and fun!


Need help? Heather is standing by. Just email her at [email protected].

Happy holidays from our winery dogs, Gideon and Stella.

This momma cannot wait for her son to get home on Wednesday and have all of us together at home again.

Thank you for all of your wonderful support and friendship. I sincerely wish you a happy, restful week.

I would love to know what wine will be on your holiday table this week: [email protected] or my cell 831-238-4828.

Stay healthy and hopeful,


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