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Sorry to see it’s not snowing in and around Seattle today? I’m not. Pretty though that my be, I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with family and friends, and celebrating a couple of birthdays, including but not limited to my husband Mac’s and my brother-in-law Steve’s (we’ll be there in spirit, Uncle Cheese!), who share one with a far more famous gentleman.

There will be a present or two under the tree for a young fella who’s been both naughty and nice. And yes, there will be gumbo: Mac’s December 25 birthday tradition. And “Heavenly” rolls (baked each year on Christmas Eve). My hope is that you, too, will have a chance to lie low, in good cheer, with good food, and good company. Or, at the very least, with a good book.

A few of my favorite Christmas ornaments: a stack of Le Creuset (great for gumbo-making, and perfect for baking no-knead bread or a big batch of carne adovado), Moe (hoisting a rolling pin: “Why, I’ll . . .!”), and a swell Pike Place Market shopping bag (the Market’s open regular hours Christmas Eve for your last-minute shopping needs).