Phew. What a whirlwind the last weeks of 2021 were. The holidays always have a frantic, joyful, exhausting, wonderful, how-am-I-ever-going-to-get-this-all-done tempo.
We launched into a full-throttle baking frenzy on St. Nicholas Day, otherwise known as the start of Cookie Week. Yep, that’s right, an entire week dedicated to making and baking cookies. Armed with ample supplies, my trusty tried-and-true recipes, and a plan of attack, I got busy. One week later, I emerged victorious with ten different cookie types and a total of 550 cookies. (Plus or minus a few required for quality control checks, of course.) Included in the baking bonanza were two pies and twelve pounds of fudge in four family-favorite flavors. Somehow, I sorted, divided, and packaged them up in time to meet the last shipping day deadline for Christmas delivery. Of course, I remembered to set aside enough to create a holiday treat center for the big day, but in my haste, I forgot to take pictures of the piles of sweetness.
Santa’s Head Elf was only just getting started. Besides monitoring logistics for Christmas wish fulfillment, there was decorating to do. The edges of the perfect complement to the children’s tabletop Christmas tree display had seen better days. Applying a red bias binding with a simple decorative stitch provided a simple fix. My elf created an adorable Christmas Tree landscape for the dinner festivities, and it thrilled me when Mickey and Minnie showed up in our front window to lead us in a few carols.
The Energizer Elf kept going. I started and finished a “SantaSaurus” stitched Christmas stocking, working late into the wee hours of Christmas Eve to ensure it was ready for Santa’s stuffing for a delighted little one. Other handmade items included a travel pillow made for a discerning recipient and two reversible knot bags for the Dino-loving crowd.
Mother Nature even lent a helping hand by timing the blooms of my Christmas Cactus. I was amazed since I was trying to salvage my half-dead plants. A clumsy contractor knocked them from their “safe” spot and broke their pots. Someone “forgot” to inform me of the accident, and I didn’t discover them until a few days later. As you can see, even the tiniest survivor did his best to help make every nook and cranny of the house sing with the holiday spirit.
Dinner for ten adults and three munchkins under three years old made everything worth the effort. The best part for me was seeing everyone happy. It also warmed my heart when they packed up to-go boxes filled with excess food.
I can imagine how Santa feels when he completes his rounds, delivers the last present, and points his reindeer towards home. This one is barely in the bag, and I find I can’t wait for next year, but first, a nap might be in order.
I hope you all enjoyed your holiday traditions and carved out some time to rest. The new year is upon us, and I am excited to see what unfolds.
I ignored my excellent advice and took a break from my everyday writing routine. The unrelenting, time-sensitive holiday demands provided the perfect excuse to let one thing go. I swore to myself it would last no longer than the year’s end. So today, we start a new year, brimming with possibilities, the promise of a blank slate, and the thrill of unknown prospects. My break has ensured I am well rested and eager to begin my new adventure. I can’t wait to see new words appear on my screen.
Are you starting your year on a positive note? Are you writing today?
“The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It’s not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work.” — Augusten Burroughs
“I think that you have to believe in your destiny; that you will succeed, you will meet a lot of rejection and it is not always a straight path, there will be detours — so enjoy the view.” — Michael York