What makes it Christmas?

It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas…

This year, a lot of holiday traditions (and routine life things!) are out the window, so I’m focusing on what makes it feel like Christmas for me. I whittled my gift-giving and card sending lists down several years ago, and the divorce cropped them even more. In fact, there are precious few folks I *HAVE* to give to, and the ones I choose to give to are very much the type of folks who appreciate thoughtful, personal gifts.

So, cards, sending and receiving, are a big part of the season for me. I don’t do a year in review letter, and it’s been years since I’ve done a truly reflective year-end blog post too, but I love getting them from my friends. Not everyone is on Facebook, and even those who are, well… things get missed and it’s nice to catch up.

I like to look at lights, but don’t do much at my own house outside. Most years I do a fresh wreath on both doors, but so far that hasn’t happened either.

I bake. And I bake. Friends and family expect fudge and know that other things might show up, and some make requests. I enjoy it. I don’t eat 99% of what I make, but the feedback suggests that my lack of taste-testing is hardly a problem.

But my favorite Christmas routine and what makes it really feel special is my tree. Most of my ornaments are old and have history. I cry, I remember and I love every minute of decorating the tree. I wish I could have a fresh tree, but the former firefighter in me just can’t do it; it’s such a fire hazards!

Maybe I’ll pop in throughout the month and share some of my favorite ornaments and recipes. We can start with the decadent German Chocolate Cupcakes I made yesterday… They are a bit time consuming, with three separate components, but I’ve made them twice and my co-workers offer high praise. In fact, one whose last day was Friday reminded me that his birthday is next week… (No. That’s not how this works, but I’m flattered that he enjoyed them that much.) I’m a good baker, but I’m no decorator, and my usual crowd doesn’t care what they look like!

What are your favorite Christmas traditions? Recipes?

Christmas already?

… not to be confused with Christmas all ready!

… because I’m not ready. It’s been a year too full of changes, long hours and failed good intentions. I’m working on cards now (after a series of techno-fails that almost literally brought me to tears last weekend), so I hope the good folks still on my card list celebrate the twelve days of Christmas from the 25th to January 6th. Personally, I celebrate Christmas as I do birthdays; why confine joy and good cheer to a block on the calendar? In that spirit, the cards will be mailed in the morning and phooey on anyone who gets uptight about when they arrive.

There probably won’t be a year in review. Gg and I are doing really well, and the challenges that remain are ones I don’t care to hash out here. I’ve found a line of activewear I adore and Gretchen Greer has minor dental issues we will need to address in 2020, and that’s as exciting as it gets.

Maybe if I get everything baked and wrapped with time to spare, I’ll add another post with more that just a photo of my cute girl and the briefest update ever, but if not, know we wish you a merry Christmas or a happy whatever you are celebrating, and we hope 2020 brings lots of love and laughter your way.

If you are all ready or taking a break from holiday preparations and/or celebrations, share your tips with me!