Merry and bright

I’ve been in a funk lately… I think part of it is the prego hormones. But I think it’s mostly that it’s the Christmas season and well, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I’ve always loved making cookies with my mom and sister; playing the “I’m thinking of a ornament that looks like…” game at night in the darkened living room with the glittering Christmas tree while sipping on Ovaltine; eating a delicious Christmas dinner; sampling “The Recipe” (a festive holiday punch… it’s got enough alcohol in it that there is a fair bit of family lore about various relatives awakening in bathtubs and under tables on Christmas mornings past). But this year it’s just Shawn and me, alone for Christmas. To be fair, it’ll be our only Christmas just the two of us, but it just doesn’t feel the same. It feels a little lonely. We don’t have a Christmas tree because we’re trying to save money and because our kitties have never been around a Christmas tree, so they’d probably take to scaling it in the wee hours of the night. I can just hear the shattering of ornaments now. We live in an apartment, so there’s no lights to string, no halls to deck, as it were. A downright bummer, if I let it be.

So you know what? It’s time to get Festive. With a capital F. We’re gonna make this Christmas happen. I even made a list. We’re going to go look at Christmas lights this week around town. We’re going to make a delicious Christmas dinner: Lamb with mint jelly, twice-baked potatoes, homemade apple sauce. We’ve got some Christmas movies to watch. I’ve got a date with a nice glass of eggnog. I’m going to make stollen for the first time ever. I’m digging out the construction paper to make a paper chain to hang. We’ve been enjoying the Season of Advent church services we’ve attended and we’re looking forward to the Christmas Eve service Saturday. And today we made Christmas cookies.

Kelley Christensen photo

Note Shawn's shirt. And yes, it glows in the dark.

Today’s festive creations are not low calorie. In fact, we used four sticks of butter. That’s right. FOUR. We made a batch of spritz, a family holiday tradition (though, alas, I lack a cookie press so they don’t look like spritz), and a batch of gingerbread trees and men.

I did this while listening to a Pandora Christmas radio station blaring out “Carol of the Bells,” “Santa Baby,” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (and the occasional “Ima CHAINSAW that b*tch!” from the husband, who was indulging his “Gears of War” video game addiction in between helping making cookies and dinner). We’ve got enough cookies at this point I will probably have to start pressing them on total strangers in the street (or just our neighbors… no better way to meet neighbors than to give them cookies!).

And since we’re lacking a Christmas tree… we have a Christmas chair! For your viewing pleasure, I draped the back of the chair with the lovely tree skirt my “Montana mom” Lynnette made for us for a wedding present, and piled the chair with presents from family.

To top today off, Shawn (and the bread machine) made a loaf of homemade bread. It’s one of our favorite recipes, with raisins and orange zest in it. Yum yum yum. We’re going to eat some tonight with homemade chicken pot pie.

Things are definitely looking far more merry and bright.

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