My kids are out of school for the holidays, and I really want to be home making cookies while they play idyllically beside the cozy but not dangerous fireplace. That vision would not be possible, even if I didn't have to work. So here's reality. It's not so bad.
We went to a work-related Christmas party last night and my big boys got to play, briefly, Wii boxing. A sneak preview, if you will. It went well. I think we chose the right gift, even at the exclusion of all others. Also at this party I karaoke'd "Someone to Love" by Queen. Someone told me it was not fair because I can actually sing and was not drunk. So is that how the rules go for karaoke? I didn't know. I had a hard time keeping up with the words for the first couple of verses but then I remembered how it went better. The party was a good one overall, even though the only drinks available were iced tea and wine. If you were Mormon, pregnant, or a child, you were relegated to taking your plastic cup out to the drinking fountain in the hallway. The food was catered by a local soul-food establishment, and ... yum. I think I literally had some of everything, from clams to coleslaw to pulled pork. Deeeeeee-licious, and today my pants are tight. I skipped my actual office party in favor of this one, since it was more kid-friendly.
All the shopping is done. All the cards are sent. All the packages are sent. I even stayed up late last night and finished almost all the wrapping. It cost me $1.25 in Diet Pepsi today, but that's not so bad. We (oh, who am I kidding, I) have to assemble a tricycle for K and a ride-on toy for Z, and then the gifts will be all taken care of. That's a good feeling.
The decor is all up - has been for a while. I mostly used the Thanksgiving break to take care of that this year, and it worked out well. There was a period where I still had the sunflowers on the front door instead of the red berry wreath, but I eventually got it taken care of. I need a good idea for displaying the kids' Christmas art work. I have saved quite a bit the last few years. Odd sizes and lots of glitter. I am thinking of some kind of gallery in our entry hall, but I want it to look cute and may I say, I have no budget. None. Who's creative enough to help me with this?
I need to bake. It's some kind of compulsion. I had big plans to stick with making whole wheat bread in small gifty sizes with pretty bows. It would be cheap, it would help me rotate my food storage, and it would be a nice contrast to all the junk food at this time of year. But then I found this cute thing and some recipes I really want to make. Brownie biscotti! For real, how could I not try that? And then I got thinking about my grandma's amazing recipe for soft ginger cookies and how I haven't made those in a while ... and how easy would it be just to add some cranberry-oatmeal bar cookies with vanilla buttercream, and make a cute little treat plate for my friends? I still have almost a week to do it!
Sally and family are coming down Saturday and we are going to go see National Treasure 2 and have pizza. Now that's a good Christmas party!
For Christmas Eve I am going to make won-tons. It's kind of a tribute to the Chinese Christmas dinner in A Christmas Story.
Christmas dinner, which we do mid-afternoon on Christmas Day, is gonna be pretty simple. I am thinking ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans and rolls (scroll down for the recipe), and then of course a steamed pudding. Since it will just be our little family I don't even have to triple the roll recipe like I did for Thanksgiving.
My parents are coming to celebrate the New Year with us. We are going to be hoping for not too much rain for those few days, and possibly driving around NorCal a bit to visit some museums and stuff. I am really looking forward to this!