Christmastime is Here!

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Guess what? Wait... How's everyone doing? Ecstatic that it's Friday, I imagine. I'll be ecstatic around 3:30 p.m. tomorrow - I'll have finished my shift at my night/weekend job and en route to pick up our Christmas tree.

So, guess what?! Someone at work told me that they read this little bloggy-blog! (I'm not quoting them verbatim) If I could have done a pirouette without looking like an utter fool, I would have. If she's reading right now - thank you - and tell your friends!

If I remember correctly, I left you pining for my Christmas traditions. Get it? Pining? Pine tree? Never mind...

While Halloween is my favorite holiday, Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. Despite the fact that I don't believe in God, nor have I been involved in dealings in which I've amassed a great profit, the following quote from Ebeneezer' Scrooge's nephew, Fred Holywell sums up my feelings eloquently:

"There are a great many things from which I have derived good, from which I have not profited, Christmas among the rest. But I've always thought of Christmastime as a good time, a kindly, forgiving, charitable time; a time when men and women seem, by one consent, to open their shut-up hearts freely to their fellow creatures. So though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver into my pocket, I do believe that it as done me good, and I say God bless it."

Now that Christmas is mostly a secular celebration, where we are inundated with advertisements evoking sentiment to extol our money to keep the economy going, I have my children to thank for the season being magical again. I love that they're so far apart in age because Isaac is on the cusp of discovering Santa isn't real, but Shiloh doesn't even realize the holiday yet. Isaac can be part of the magic for her during the next few years. (Provided, of course, he's capable of staving off pre-adolescent disdain for all things family!) I have faith though, because I was a formative surly little bitch throughout most of my pre-teen and teenaged years. But when it was time to get the tree and commence with our Christmas ritual, I was all sunshine and roses. I was (still am) tree-picker extrodinare! I don't recall the exact age whence the Queen Christmas Tree Chooser crown was placed upon my skull (one of many crowns I earned - not all worth mentioning!) but it's reappeared each year since. I'm more than happy to pass the mantle on, if Isaac shows the slightest hint of tree-picking prowess that was bestowed upon me.

Over the years I've come to realize that another word for "tradition" is "habit"; and it's okay to break habits. The way Christmas worked for me growing up isn't how it works for me now. Mummy used to take Thanksgiving weekend and bake cookies the entire weekend and then freeze them. We'd take them out at different times throughout the season; and there was always a giant plate of cookies for the decorating house-and-tree day. We'd always watch A Christmas Carol (with George C. Scott) and A Disney Christmas Gift while cramming down Mummy's delectable confections. To this day I've never been able to reproduce the twisty cookies with a nutty center, nor the cookies she'd squirt out of a canister to which she'd affix different molds. She's not the egregious foul-mouthed sailor I can be (and I have her to thank for finally understanding how unattractive it can be!) but those cookies made her spit profanity like a Tourette's sufferer. Yet she made them every year - and they were scrumptious!

My cookie tradition is that I bake them every week throughout the season. "Crazy Christmas Cookie Lady" was what Ben called me last year, and I've affixed that label to me like a flashing neon sign! After my hair cut I stopped at Wal Mart and stocked up on a bunch of baking ingredients.

Christmas decorating for me now is like slowly building a sundae - swapping fall decorations for Christmas after work is the ice cream, procuring the tree is the hot fudge; decorating and placing the angel atop the tree are the whipped cream and cherry. Normally I wait until at least the first of December to start this sundae, but all the friends who dove into the season over Thanksgiving weekend and plastered their pretty pictures all over FB propelled me into early decorating mode. I'm a sucker for advertising!

In honor of the homemade-cookie season, for the month of December instead of "What's for Dinner?" it will be "Today's Confection". I can't wait to share with you my regular repertoire of Christmas confections - as well as anything new that inspires me.

My first offering will be.... Tune in before the weekend is over to find out! How easy this cookie is to throw together combined with its addictive deliciousness make it super dangerous... Don't say I didn't warn you!


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