Monday, December 21, 2009

Countdown to Christmas…

I hoped that when November was over, I could relax a little, slide through the Christmas holidays and glide into 2010. No such luck! I’m still suffering from the inability to say “no” once in a while! I try to do way too much in much too short a time. This wouldn’t be such an issue if I didn’t work full time, but I do, so lack of time is a huge issue, especially during the holidays.

As I count down the days until Christmas, I develop increasing feelings of trepidation thinking about whether there will be time to accomplish all the things on my list! The next five days are already overbooked.

On Friday, in spite of being on an official vacation day, I went into work at 6:30 in the morning to issue a big report. Then I headed out to the stores to start and finish the entire of my Christmas shopping. This was complicated because, as of last week, I “inherited” four children (4, 9, 11 and 12) who will be at the house on Christmas day. Since there is NO WAY I am having children in the house with no presents under the tree, my list was increased by four.

I’ve discovered that every boy in the world wears size 12 slim jeans. I reached this conclusion because I had to search through every pile, display and rack of jeans in two stores before finding a single, elusive pair of 12 slims. I don’t remember shopping for my kids being quite that frustrating, but I managed to finally secure all the requisite items for the four new charges; none of what I bought has been wrapped yet.

On Saturday, we made a second batch of Molasses Sugar Cookie dough and put it in the fridge. Then we made Butterscotch Bars, Lemon Bars, traditional pizzelles (anise flavor) and a batch of Lemon-Poppy Seed pizzelles.

Sunday the cook-fest continued with the actual baking of the Molasses Sugar Cookies, mixing and baking a double batch of Raisin Cookies, a double pan of Niemen-Marcus Bars, Raspberry Pizzelles, the dough for Mom’s Butter Roll Crescents, and Cinnamon Pizzelles. In a new twist, I rolled 32 of the Cinnamon Pizzelles around a wooden dowel immediately after cooking to make a form of pizzelle that can be filled.

As I write this, a double batch of Hunter’s Stew is happily cooking in a pair of crock pots for the night. I stopped cooking for three reasons. 1) I ran out of eggs. 2) I ran out of time. 3) My feet and legs hurt too much after two consecutive 12-hour days of standing in my kitchen to continue any longer.

Mom will roll out, raise and bake the rolls tomorrow while I’m at work, but there are still several items on the baking docket, including two loaves of New England Bishop’s Bread, a Cranberry-Walnut Pound Cake, Hungarian Apricot Bars, and the Apple and Pumpkin Pies.

I have not yet figured out when I’m going to wrap gifts, but I’m sure I’ll fit it in somehow…maybe after choir practice! This has to happen before my son arrives on the 23rd, because most of the gifts are in residence on the bed in the room where he will be housed for the holiday.

I also have to solidify a menu and figure out how to seat 16 people for dinner. This too will happen in good time.

I am seriously considering a vacation for Christmas next year!