I just cut out a cartoon for our fridge. It shows a man commenting to his wife that she's writing out more Christmas cards than usual. She replies that she's trying to return to a more traditional holiday. He asks if she means she'll do lots of extra work, decorating, baking and writing, wearing herself to a frazzle and getting crabby and irritable so she can't enjoy her holiday. She replies, "Yes, a traditional Christmas." Sigh...
So far, despite working 2 jobs, 13-hour weekdays plus a half-day on Saturdays, I've baked 6 kinds of cookies, bought all of the gifts I plan on getting, and delivered cookie packages to some of the people who are good to me all year. I'll probably bake a couple more kinds of cookies, and finish the deliveries by this weekend, since I'm having hernia surgery on Monday.
So wearing myself to a frazzle? Check. Doing things the traditional way? Check. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I think I've commented here before that years ago I started a tradition of gifting small plates of cookies to people who enhance my life...from the guy in the retail store who always waits on me, calling me by my first name and making me feel special, to the woman who cuts my hair. There are the teenagers who grade work at the center I tutor at, and the teachers at the school I sub for who ask for me by name, to keep me working. All of these people matter to me, and I like to let them know how much I appreciate it, with a small token of buttery goodness.
But since I've been so busy, something had to give, besides the sleep I'm not getting every night, as I try to keep up with things at home. My promoting has been demoted into the back seat so far that it's locked in the trunk. And I haven't done any writing since the school year started, along with my 2 jobs and long days Real life has demanded that I spend less time in the worlds of my imagination, and more in the here and now.
The reward has been family time that I've enjoyed immensely, including when one son got married in September, I wore the dress I made for it, and my other 3 kids were attendants. Plus we got a wonderful new daughter to love! Win-win for everyone.
I do have a book whose new, revised edition will be out soon, but my publishing company was sold and things are taking time to get finalized. No worries, since I'm not in any hurry right now. I'll be laid up on the couch for the days directly leading up to the holidays, so probably won't be commenting here...or anywhere...much.
About the only thing I'll be able to do is pray for peace and tolerance to spread its healing warmth around our poor, beleaguered planet. So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Joyful Solstice, and best wishes for a Happy New Year to everyone!
Here's the recipe to one of my family's favorites. They're a bit of work, but worth it! They freeze well, so be sure to hide some for yourself, or they'll be eaten so quickly you'll wonder if the elves got them! Or do what I do and double the recipe.
Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar + 3/4 cup butter + 1 tsp. vanilla
--Beat above ingredients together until creamy
1 cup flour --Blend into mixture
1 cup chocolate chips, melted (in nuke or pot on stove)
--Add melted chocolate to mixture
1 cup finely chopped walnuts --blend into mixture
--Using a level tsp. of dough, shape into tiny balls.
--Place onto 2 ungreased cookie sheets (Note: they don't spread much so you can usually get at least 36 cookies per sheet)
--Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, both sheets in oven, reversing their positions at the 15-minute mark.
--Remove from sheets and cool.
1 jar Polaner seedless raspberry fruit spread
--Spread 1/4 tsp. fruit spread on flat side of a cookie, sandwich with another. You should get at least 36 cookies( 72 cookie halves doubled with the spread.)
Until next month!