Dear lovely readers,
This holiday season has been filled with lots of baking for me. In fact, I'm actually behind on decorating and gift wrapping because of all the time that's gone into the goodies! We're still in the process of decking the halls. The stocking garland went up tonight but the stockings are still MIA. Presents are bought, but wrapping paper is still tucked away from last year. Usually, I'm done weeks in advance since I'm such a planner. Even the years I was pregnant and due at the start of the month, I had everything done beforehand, right after Thanksgiving. This is the first year I'm behind. All that's been going on with M2 (more coming soon), my being sick (more on this coming soon, too), the baking and general life have conspired to keep me from getting my act together.
One tradition we've started in our family this year isn't behind schedule. All over Facebook, that little Elf on the Shelf guy has been making an appearance. He simply isn't a fit for our family. Instead, M2 and B have been getting a mini-board book each day that is part of a larger set. All together, the books tell the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
The Christmas Book Elf, a very special position in Santa's ranks of elves, has been dropping off the books one by one. Sometimes, he includes a little treat. Today, he even snuck up behind M2 while she was watching Mickey's Christmas Carol and left the book with a mini peanut butter cup on top! She didn't even notice he'd been there until I pointed it out to her. (I'm really lucky she didn't turn around and catch me!) Her face lights up every time a new book appears (some days, I "mysteriously" find it downstairs, other days it's hiding for her to find).
Ever the good big sister, she make sure B sees the book and that both of them hear the new part of the story. On Christmas Eve, they'll get the last book. Come Christmas, we'll read the full story all together then leave the books under the tree that night for the Christmas Book Elf to come pick up. He'll keep them safe until next year, when he'll drop off one book a day again. Reading is very important to our family and both kids love books, which makes this the perfect tradition for us. One day when they're older, I hope they'll share the tradition with their own families.
I've been sharing some yummy cookie recipes the past two weeks. There's still one more treat to come that I'll be sharing early in the new year. Time simply got away from me or I'd share it sooner. Just to tease you a little: It's a great chocolate cookie that would make a perfect treat any time throughout the winter.
In the mean time, these recipes should round out your holiday baking quite well:Big & Chewy Butterscotch and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Meltaway Spritz Butter Cookies
Colonial Williamsburg Gingerbread Cookies
Best-Ever Peanut Butter Blossoms
I'll be taking a break from the blog until after Christmas in order to get everything ready for the day and, most importantly, to spend time with A, M2, B and our extended family. After all, making cherished memories with loved ones is what Christmas is all about!
From my family to yours, may you have a wondrous, magical Christmas Day filled with delights, surprises and an abundance of love.