Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'm not ready for the holidays to be here, but they're just around the corner. Yikes! Where has the time gone? I'm still enjoying Fall here in southern Ohio but there's now a chill in the air and I'm aware that Thanksgiving is just two weeks away. That doesn't seem possible.
We will barely have digested Thanksgiving dinner when it will be time to get ready for Christmas. Actually, I'm working on Christmas recipes and gift ideas right now. This morning I pulled out my Gooseberry Patch recipe books and Taste of Home Christmas issues. They're sitting on my diningroom table, waiting for me to browse through them for new ideas. Today I'll begin to choose what I want to bake this year. Of course, my list will be longer than what I will actually have time to make. It always is. I'll start crossing things off my list if they seem too time consuming or the ingredients are too expensive - or if I run out of time. What will problably happen is that I'll revert to the tried and true recipes I've used for years: Chocolate chip cookies, Spritz, Russian Teacakes, decorated sugar cookies, and peanut butter fudge - so much for trying new recipes.
I truly envy those who can start choosing family gifts in January. They're often finished with gift buying and wrapping by Thanksgiving, leaving themselves ample time for decorating, baking, and enjoying the holidays. I've never been one to think that far ahead because I never know what to choose for family members. I always say I'm going to be ready before the holidays arrive, but the reality is, so many things come up through the year that Christmas planning just isn't a priority in January.
That doesn't mean I won't strive to be ready this year. I've begun thinking about what I might bake for a few close neighbors, but I'll wait for wish lists before I begin choosing things for family members. It's my desire to choose things they will use and enjoy. Truth be known, I wouldn't be at all upset if my family decided to not exchange gifts this year. Some of us are paring down and trying to simplify our lives and there is really nothing we need. I do hope the gifts I purchase or make will be well-received. There's nothing more disappointing on Christmas Day than to unwrap a sweater or a pair of socks when what you'd really hoped for was a football or a doll.
My hope for this holiday season is that I will be able to find items my family will be happy to receive, to begin decorating my home the day after Thanksgiving - which I always say I'll do, but have never actually done - to have time to bake for family gatherings, to arrange cookie platters for a few special neighbors, to help my mother get ready for Christmas, and to enjoy the season instead of wishing it was over before it even arrived. That's my wish list.

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