Andy Williams sings to us that “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”…and it can be. But if you’re the person at the helm of creating that entire “wonderful” atmosphere, wrapping it up and delivering it on tray of fresh baked cookies, it can be downright overwhelming. So as someone who has survived the hustle and bustle, the holly and mistletoe, the prep and the landing for well over five decades, here is what I know for sure:
- The directions on a bag of Toll House Chocolate Chips are wrong. The two sticks of butter should not be room temperature. That only causes the cookies to flatten out. Cold butter works much better, causing the dough to raise higher.
- I am pretty sure Santa is a woman. Think about it; packs well and does the impossible all in one night…and all with a twinkle in the eye! Yep. A woman.
- I don’t like “The Twelve Day of Christmas”. It is annoying and sexist. It is a party where everyone is having a good time except the ladies. The Lords are a-leaping, the drummers are a-drumming. And the maids? Well of course, they’re a-milking the cows.
- I can’t pass a Salvation Army bell ringer without putting something in the kettle. If I’m healthy enough to be walking by and blessed enough to have a little change in my pocket, I’ll share.
- I learned early on when my sons were very young; beware of toys that consist of thousands of small pieces. My boys are both in their late twenties now, and I swear every once in a while, I still vacuum up a Lite Brite peg.
- Just for fun, after loading your packages in your trunk at a crowded mall parking lot, as cars race to juggle for position to get first crack at your spot – close the trunk, smack your forehead as if you forgot something, and start walking back in. I usually respond to their one-finger Christmas greeting with "And thank you...same to you!"
- December snow has always been and always will be the best snow of the year.
- If you are watching your caloric intake or just have egg issues like I do, but still want the taste of eggnog, put two scoops of low-fat (or sugar free) vanilla ice cream, 2 or 3 drops of eggnog extract, and a shake of nutmeg into the blender and liquefy. I promise you, it will be delicious.
- I don’t like “gift bags” under the tree. Christmas presents are meant to be opened, not grabbed from a bag.
- The first night your tree is decorated, stay in. Put on your favorite holiday movie and drink a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. It is one of the rare quiet joys of the season that does not require a lot of money and the feeling is long remembered
And most important...when it all gets to be too much. When you want to delete the Hallmark movie channel from your programming...when your credit card won't come out of your wallet because it melted to the leather...when you can't dip another carrot stick into the spinach dip... remember Linus.
He stood under the spotlight on an empty stage and recited the story of a very special night in a Bethlehem manger. He then walked over to his friend who had been broken by the holiday hype and commercialism, and simply said "That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown."
Images by ImageGoggle
Images by ImageGoggle