Candles in the Window, Carols at the - what the heck IS a Spinet

 I feel like I'm doing that thing where I do NaBloPoMo and feel like I could blog every day forever and then it's kind of a relief not to have to blog one day and then it's almost Christmas and hello not blogging anymore. 

So remember the package I got that wasn't for me, that I taped back up to take to the proper house? Today I just went "hey, there's an unopened package on the table, what's that?" Sorry Emily, it's coming, I promise. 

I am feeling the seemingly-inevitable dread and pressure about getting everything done for Christmas and then getting mad at myself for feeling dread and pressure because I am a strong independent woman who rejects the patriarchal capitalist social structures that dictate that women are responsible for producing a Hallmark-worthy Christmas. I had to think for quite a long time before I remembered my motto for the last few years at this time of year: "Do what you can, and let the rest go." It's fifty percent bullshit - I do actually want to give my family a perfect Christmas. I just don't want to be a sobbing, hunched-over, crippled mess at the end of it all. It's a balancing act.

I did things a little out of my regular order. I had all the kids' Christmas presents in the living room (front of the house where we don't spend much time) because the kids aren't home so I didn't have to hide them downstairs in the storage room. Usually I'd put them down there then bring them up to wrap them, then bring them back down until Christmas Eve. This year I decided to wrap them and then bring them down, saving myself a few trips. As I'm reading this I'm realizing it is not remotely revolutionary, and I'm a little sorry I made you read about it. 

I have also written and mailed an entire box of Christmas cards, and it is December 8, a few days ahead of when I usually manage to start. I still have many left, and my kitchen table is still strewn with cards and photos and gift labels and stamps. I can't seem to go down my list of addresses in an orderly fashion when writing Christmas cards - I have to scroll up and down seeing who I FEEL should come next. I also found a stash of wallet-sized photos from past years that were left over so I've been sticking cards of adorable little Angus and Eve in some cards just for the hell of it. 

Today I'm baking my first Christmas cookies. I was trying to remember what the favourites were from the past few years, and one kind I couldn't find the recipe for - all I could remember was that there was cream in the batter and they were really good and a little different from everything else I made. I tried googling and going through my recipe files and no luck. Then I remembered emailing the recipe to Collette (HI COLLETTE) and did a search, hoping that it happened after I accidentally deleted all my emails. And I found it! Here it is in case anyone needs a new cookie in the rotation - they're really good. 

While I'm doing all the Christmas shit, I also try every time I'm in a room or space to grab something that shouldn't be there and either put it where it belongs or get rid of it. You guys, I have a LOT of shit in this house that isn't where it should be. I can't tell if I'm happy or annoyed that my blinders to that are still off. 

Feel free to drop a favourite Christmas recipe or tell me I'm a chump for doing Christmas cards  - the happy cheery messages do seem a little off-key this year. Plus I'm pretty sure I wrote something about syphilis in one of them. Maybe I should have skipped it. 

*a spinet is a an 'early harpsichord having a single keyboard and only one string for each note'. Huh. I thought it was a record player. I also thought it was spinnet.


Swistle said…
I liked and related to the description of the balancing act that is Christmas.

I have that same method of addressing cards!! My list is neatly alphabetical, and I always do them in The Order that Feels Right, which is never neatly alphabetical. I am finding I am EXTRA happy to receive cards this year.

I had one more thing to say, what was it. Oh, a recipe, but I am listlessly failing to get out of my chair. Later in the season, when I am making myself into a wreck over it, THEN I'll have one.
Nicole said…
So I used to do my cards in alphabetical order, but a few years ago I switched. Now I get the cards that were sent to me last year and write down all the names. Then I go through and write cards just based on no particular order, being sure to check off the names as I write them. It makes it more fun for me. I found that I was feeling resentful when I'd send a card but not receive them, but this new method just makes me feel happy and cheery.
Ernie said…
I hosted my local college alumnae club's Christmas party last night. Coach and I were in Arizona last weekend. So I am way behind for actual Christmas prep. But my house is now freakishly clean.

I laughed when you apologized for describing your gift hauling and hiding. Mine just get hidden in my closet each year. This year . . . there is basically nothing there. See, way behind.
Tudor said…
No idea if this recipe is good, but it's different (which not that many recipes are) and, after I emptied the cottage cupboards I had a bunch of marshmallows left and didn't want to make rice krispie squares, and I thought "what else on earth can you bake to use up marshmallows?" and this recipe popped into my feed, so ... voila! If you bake it before I do, LMK if it's good!
StephLove said…
We ordered our cards right after Thanksgiving (2 weeks ago) and they haven't come and it's stressing me out. Also, I misplaced the list that tells me all the gifts I bought and I just found it yesterday but I haven't had a chance to update it and see whether I'm finished shopping or not.

Our current Christmas conundrum is knowing who can open what packages that arrive because we've all ordered stuff for other people addressed to ourselves which we should open but my mom sent our unwrapped gifts addressed to the recipient so whenever a box comes and we're not sure what's in it we have cryptic conversations about how that does look like what you're getting from her so it's probably safe for you to open but it's from amazon and I don't have any outstanding amazon orders, etc. Miraculously no one has opened her/their own gift yet but I think it's just a matter of time.
Helen Abbott said…
Since you introduced me to saltedchocolatetoffeepretzelbark years ago, and that immediately became our family's favourite Xmas treat, I'm gonna try my hand at these cookies (or rather, Joelle is gonna try her hand at these cookies). Even though my ad blocker has racked up 246 ads on that site so far. And even though Joelle just decided she had to read the entire ingredient list and instructions out loud very slowly in a haughty-snotty voice.
Thanks for another entertaining year of blogging... I read 'em all even if I never comment!
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