November 29, 2010 § 9 Comments
It will come as a surprise to no one when I say that marriage, it turns out, involves negotiations. Not the least of which is where to spend holidays. We are lucky in that both of us really like both our parents and our in-laws, but in a way it makes it almost harder because both of us would love to spend the holidays with the others’ family while at the same time we’re each devastated by the thought of missing a holiday with our own. It’s a win-win-lose-lose situation! This year the solution is to spend Thanksgiving with Joel’s family and Christmas with mine (which does mean we’ll be missing the Chanukah party with the painfully inept magician. Sigh.). And we discovered this weekend that this also translates into getting to participate in the sparkles and lights of Christmas festivities twice!
I swear, we had no sooner wiped the crumbs of turkey and cranberry sauce from our lips and tossed our napkins onto the table with little groans of satisfaction, when a faint ring of jingle-bells began to tingle-lingle in the air. And the soundtrack (yes, this would be the soundtrack in my mind) crescendoed until the strains of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” burst onto the scene. The weather in Washington cooperated with gusto, dropping a foot and a half of snow over a couple of days, turning the city into a giant snow globe, and enabling us to cross-country ski through the streets, waving at the cheery red-cheeked neighbors and the children out sledding. (Seriously, it was like someone decided we should spend the weekend in a Holiday greeting card.) There were presents to be selected and given. A chimeric Christmas-tree-Chanukah-bush to be cut down and trimmed. Carols to be sung. White Christmas to be watched. And, of course, cookies to be baked.
December 21, 2009 § 2 Comments
We virtually never baked or had cookies around when I was growing up. I HATED this when I was little. (I thought my family was totally lame, and I pretty regularily snuck over to my friends’ houses to eat the treats they had.) The only cookie baking my mother ever did was Christmas cookies, which made the cookies super special. Now that I’m older, I’ve become more grateful for this. I did internalize the message that cookies are special treats, not something you have all the time – but I’m not going to lie, I still definitely eat them more often than once per year these days. I also learned how much harder it is to eat something that isn’t around, so I make a point of not baking regularly myself. I know the weakness of my own willpower! But, I also still make an exception for this time of the year, when I go home to Minnesota and right away begin to fill evenings with baking, churning out a variety of cookies (my grandmother apparently felt that you had to have at least six types of cookies to make a decent cookie tray, and so I find myself creaming bowl upon bowl of butter, sugar, and eggs. I kind of thought six was a lot, until a Christmas party I went to today where there were literally at least two dozen different kinds of cookies. Holy trays of sprinkles Batman! That’ll pretty much be the death knell for anyone’s attempt to not eat too many cookies in one sitting. It may also be the reason I’m awake writing at a time I generally consider to be way past bedtime. Mega sugar high – yes, I know there’s no serious scientific proof for the phenomenon of sugar highs, but tell that to me in an hour when I’m still awake…). « Read the rest of this entry »