Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Happy Holidays to you!

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!


Kayelle Allen said...

I took the opposite road this year. We're having Christmas dinner out, going to see Star Wars, and I have sent ecards. It's not the same thing, but it is nice not to be exhausted. Will I do it again next year? Hmm... I'll let you know. :) In any case, Happy (Frazzled) Holidays to you!

Tina Donahue said...

Great recipe, Fiona. Hope you and yours have an awesome holiday. For me, I'd rather be with friends than in the store shopping. :)

jean hart stewart said...

I hope your holiday turns out to be as special as the ones you are enhancing for others. Enjoy being an invalid for a while, and then a very happy new year to you....

Fiona McGier said...

Re: Kayelle, let me know how that works out for you. I'm always interested in hearing different ways to celebrate the holidays, since my birthday is included in the one week between them.

Re: Tina, yeah, that's why I did much of my shopping on-line this year. I don't have the time or the inclination to spend wasting it in a mall. I'd rather be with friends and family.

Re: Jean, thanks for the good wishes. I feel that Karma surrounds the planet and when you contribute, you will get back equal to what you give out. I try to make others happy and to help them feel appreciated...not only in hopes of feeling that way myself. But because I don't think most of us realize how much we add to someone else's day, and I like to let folks know when they brighten mine.