In all the hubbub of the last three months — moving, ending one career and working on establishing another one, navigating a big city and figuring out our empty-nest status — the holiday season has hit us like an unscheduled freight train.
As I mentioned previously, I got rid of A LOT of detritus from our previous home, including Christmas decorations, knickknacks, CDs (we didn’t really need three copies of Bing Crosby crooning, after all), tired old wreaths and cruddy Christmas wrapping paper. It felt good to clean it all out. And while I still have three bins of holiday stuff, I’m really glad it’s not the five it was before. Storage space is at a premium.
So now that Hanukkah is here, and Christmas is a little over two weeks away, I think it’s time — really time! — to make our annual irreverent Christmas cookies. My sister recently reminded me that one year my S.O. posted a photo of our best effort: Dog pee on old tannenbaum, using yellow icing. The photo above is Banquo’s ghost. Morbid, sure. But what it lacks in holiday cheer it makes up with literary sensibility. And I’m sure whomever got to eat that puppy truly savored the moment.
The point, of course, was not how lovely the treats did or did not look, or even whether they tasted like paste or melted in our mouths. The point was to sit at the dining room table together as a family unit, listen to holiday music and create miniature edible masterpieces. Or just plunk a blob of frosting on a cookie and call it a day. We laughed, we squabbled occasionally, but mostly we just had a quiet fun time. This is an experience every child deserves.
This year’s cookie session will have to wait a week so everyone can get to one location. So while I wait for my loved ones to get here, anyone want to share a great, easy recipe for Christmas cookies? No nuts or sesame seeds, please, because of allergies. (The Washington Post offers these easy treats. I tried the Brown Butter Blondies and they were to die for.) Any suggestions are welcome. Or, if you have a holiday tradition, I’d love to hear about it, as well. I welcome all inspiration!
Now, I know I put those damn cookie cutters somewhere …