Not bad for a fat girl

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A Different Kind of Christmas

No parties, unless you count a brief masked outdoor lunch at work (that I skipped).

No shopping, unless you count online shopping, in which case there’s been plenty of shopping.

No strolls around the neighborhood to enjoy the light displays, unless you count the daily walk to the mailbox that is more of an exercise in avoiding clusters of unmasked people who have come to our neighborhood to stroll around and enjoy the light displays.

No live performances of any sort. No Dave Koz, no children’s choir, no Nutcracker, no Christmas Carol, not even a school winter holiday concert.

I’ve noticed that several of my friends have really embraced the holiday season this year, setting up elaborate displays and decorating their homes to the max. They aren’t going to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in the way of enjoying Christmas. They are the grit your teeth and get it done no matter what folks. I admire them.

I, on the other hand, have gone the other direction. I’ve gone low key this year. Yes, there’s a Christmas tree, and it’s decorated, but there’s another whole tote of ornaments that didn’t make it on the tree this year. It’s okay, though, because the special ones are there.

The stockings are hung, but they’re the only thing on the mantle, which I usually decorate with greenery and various other holiday items.

The picture above the mantle is the same one that’s always there, not one that I put up just at holiday time. In fact on the walls I have exactly one holiday quilt and one holiday cross stitch piece.

The dining room table is covered in a red table cloth, and the kitchen table sports a green one, but neither holds a centerpiece. And Hanukkah? I’m afraid that got skipped all together.

Still, the house looks nice, not overcrowded, and I’ve baked some cookies, so that’s something. My son is quarantining so he can join us on Christmas, and he’s preparing the main dish. He’s turing into a very good cook.

Mine aren’t quite this perfect.

This holiday season may look different, and it may feel different, but I’m fortunate to be able to spend it with the ones I love, so I’m luckier than many people this year. Every day I’m grateful that we’re all still okay. Every day I hope that our good fortune holds out. Next year things will be different, hopefully they will be better. For now, though, I wish you the very best this holiday season. May you know peace, good health, and love.


To Cookie or Not to Cookie

I had a little trouble with the decorating

I had a little trouble with the icing

One of the best things about this time of year is the food, of course. And as you know, I love food. I particularly like sweets, as evidenced by my obsession with Hot Tamales candies, but I digress. This time of year brings all kinds of goodies, but the treat that says holiday time to me is a cookie.

I like to bake, but cookies aren’t my favorite thing to do. They tend to be really time consuming, and frankly I’d rather whip up a batch of brownies or a sheet cake and call it a day, but December calls for cookies, so cookies I shall make.

I have a few tried and true recipes that I’ve made over and over, and each year I choose one or two to bake. For many years I was invited to a wonderful cookie walk, and always came home with scads of treats, but then I got divorced, and since my former mother-in-law was the hostess I guess she thought it would be weird to keep inviting me.

It’s too bad, because she always had games too, with really nice prizes. I’m good at games, even Christmas themed games, so I would usually win. After the second time I kept my mouth shut. I think the other guests were a little annoyed that the one Jewish person in the room was winning the awesome Christmas themed gift each year. Still, I enjoyed the games and the secret knowledge that I knew the holiday better than people who had celebrated it their entire lives.

Fast forward to Christmas Season 2014. I’ve been invited to a cookie walk this weekend. I would like to go. I like cookie walks. I like cookies. I like parties. HOWEVER, I don’t need cookies, I don’t love making cookies, and I don’t know how many events I want to try to cram into my weekend. So here’s my dilemma, do I cookie, or don’t I?

Oh sure, I’m planning to make cookies at some point anyway, but if I don’t go there’s no pressure to get them done. On the other hand, I have some time to do them this evening. It will be festive. We can put on a Christmas movie or at least some Christmas carols while I’m baking. It will make the house smell wonderful, too.

On the other hand I really shouldn’t do the cookies, or go to a party to swap them for other cookies. They are counter-productive to my goal of making better diet and fitness choices. I know this, but at the same time I’m trying to cut myself a little slack over the holidays.

What I do know is that if I make cookies I will most likely go, but I will NOT make the same cookies I tried to do for Chanukah. They were most definitely a fail. A big, sloppy, embarrassing, yet delicious, fail. Oh well, they’re only cookies. I can always make more.