Wishing you a joyous Noel!
This picture was created using a postage stamp passed from my husband’s uncle to my mother-in-law to my husband to me. Uncle Donald collected postage stamps from around the world.
The postage stamp above is from the 1992 Great Britain Stained Glass Christmas collection.
Santa isn’t the only one who is making a list and checking it twice. Tis the Season of Lists. We have gift lists, to do lists, packing lists, food lists. Lists, lists, lists. For someone who loves a good list, this is a great time of year.
Yesterday, my sister and I not only worked off our own lists, we phoned each other multiple times to compare lists. Late in the afternoon, she called me for the fourth time.
My sister: “I finally finished my shopping and unloaded all the bags from my car when I had a nagging sense that I had forgotten something. I thought about the food and was sure I had everything from my list. I thought about the gifts and couldn’t think of any I hadn’t purchased. I puzzled about it for a moment and then gave up because I couldn’t think of anything I was missing. I started calling Bella (their dog) to let her outside. I called and called and called but she didn’t come. Finally, our daughter came out of her room and said “Mom, Bella isn’t here. You took her to the groomer.” And just like that I remembered what I had forgotten. My dog!”
I am beginning to think that making the majority of my Christmas gifts was not such a brilliant idea after all. But, as I near the end of my gift giving list I can see the light at the end of my crafting tunnel. For a while there it seemed as if it had burned out. Then I realized it wasn’t the tunnel lamp that was burned out but me. To re-light it I have been taking naps. Naps are something I usually cannot do because I lie in bed thinking too much and then get up and just do it. This past week, though, I could get an Olympic medal for napping.
On Tuesday, I came home from work, straightened the house, made dinner and then around 6 at night decided I needed a nap. I woke up when the alarm beeped at 5:30 a.m. the next morning. Technically that was probably not a nap but it sure felt good. The next night I worked on some of my crafting projects and then sat in my easy chair and ‘dipped under’ for about an hour. Wow, two naps in two days. Who is this woman? Thursday, while sitting on the couch I rested my eyes. Since I didn’t look at the clock before I rested them, I am not sure how long they rested that night. Saturday, I decided to lie down for a while in the afternoon, 3 hours later I wondered what had happened.
Napping during the day is different from sleeping at night. During the day when you sleep you actually miss something. While napping, people have called and I missed talking with them. People posted on their blogs but I wasn’t on my computer to read them. Christmas decorating and baking did not get done but I must admit I am not too upset about that.
I am currently obsessing on finishing my last few Christmas gifts which I plan to do…right after I take a nap.
“Cooking is Like Love. It Should Be Entered Into with Abandon or Not at All.”
~Harriet Van Horne
Once upon a time there was a woman with two daughters. To them she bequeathed her appreciation for food made with the freshest ingredients. Raspberries picked in the backyard. Corn grilled in husks over an open flame. Meat marinated in thick homemade sauces. Desserts blended with butter and real cream.
Each year, at Christmas time, the daughters helped prepare traditional foods for the holiday season. A favorite, treasured recipe was for spritz cookies. This cookie had a soft, buttery texture that touched the tongue gently then exploded with flavor. “Hellooooo” this cookie announced as it woke up the senses with eye closing pleasure. As the taste faded, hands would reach for another cookie to extend the experience. After all, if one cookie is good, two will be even better.
What makes this cookie so delightful? To one daughter, the mother said it was the extra half cup of butter. To the other daughter, she said it was the rich egg yolks. The daughters agreed these ingredients were important but knew its true magnificence came from heartwarming memories associated with a loving mom.
Mom has been gone these past 18 years but whenever we make her spritz we feel her presence. Her voice, her image and her mannerisms are resurrected as we bake and taste these delights. Family traditions, especially ones involving multiple senses, provide comfort and remembered love. And that is what makes this cookie truly spectacular. Love you mom.