Kicking Xmas in the butt!

Okay. I don’t know where I come up with the energy and constant motivation….maybe that desire to make it a magical time for all…. but I did a ton this past week to get stuff done for Christmas.

Yesterday was the playgroup holiday party, and we had a very special guest appear — my friend Matt dressed as Santa Claus! It was so awesome. First he stopped at my house to visit Morella, who was sick and could not make it. She was very happy to see him, and he gave her a gift (it was one that another Mom had left at my house the night before when she was babysitting because she wasn’t sure if she would make it in time for the Santa visit). She sat on his lap, and Tim told me that she told him what she wanted for Christmas — a pink pony. This was news to us! I never even thought she would actually tell Santa what she wanted, much less sit on his lap. Perhaps it was the candy cane that wooed her.

After that visit, Santa came over to the party. He texted us as left which gave us about 5 minutes to herd everyone down stairs to the finished basement area. Once everyone was down, we put all the gender neutral, wrapped gifts each one of had brought and put them in a black plastic bag for Santa to distribute. He was our randomizer, so that no one got the gift they brought. He also handed out candy canes, and there was a photo op for anyone who wanted their picture taken with Santa to do so. I got a great one of Neeners, who mirrored Morella last year (lots of tears).

Today I baked and decorated a lot of cookies, made some fudge (after a first failed attempt in which lots and lots of disgusting little bugs floated to the surface of the white chocolate batch — note to self, pantry bugs like white chocolate). Other note to self, check the stupid chocolate first! Then the second batch I was working on was almost screwed up when I was put in a can of sweetened condensed milk instead of just evaporated milk. I figured by that point, I might as well just throw in the evaporated milk too and stir stir stir. There was a hairy moment when I almost put in 4 ounces less chocolate…but thankfully just eying the pile of chocolate and looking at the mixture, I was able to figure out it wasn’t going to be enough. I had a small sliver of it before I put in the fridge to cool further and it tasted okay to me.

I can’t tell you how many batches of fudge I have screwed up over the course of my life. Ugh! BUT, I am very proud to say that my Christmas cookie skills have exploded this year. I figured out that the spritzer machine was not at fault — it was a user error. Turns out the dough needs to be room temperature to reallly work and stick like it should. Lowen was over with me while I was figuring that out, so I gave her that spritzer which she promptly took home to bake. The one I found in my cupboard has a turn handled instead of a turn …oh hell do you really care about the details of a sprinter machine?

Today I figured out how to make the perfect royal icing — I had just barely enough powdered sugar to frost most of my cookies — which look absolutely devine. I have one chocolate cutout kind and one sugar … So this years cookie box includes:

–rolo turtles
–chocolate cutouts – iced
–sugar cutouts – iced
–russian tea cakes
–saltine toffee
–fudge
–guanach thumbprints
–sugar spritz
–citrus glazed spritz
–peanut butter blossoms
–linzer with raspberry jam filling

I can’t wait to see how they all look together. I had Tim running about town tonight to find me small gift boxes. Usually Woodman’s has what I need, but neither they nor Cubs was able to deliver. Cubs is right next to Wallyworld, so Tim stopped there (the first time in a decade? to actually buy something) and found some that are perfect. He also found Morella her pink horse…she is going to LOVE it.

I spent a good portion of the evening wasting precious time on the internet…maybe an hour? And then the rest of the time was spent wrapping gifts. When did wrapping gifts get to be so tedious? Or maybe it’s that I collected too many things for too many people over the past year and it’s all catching up with me.

Uh oh, the Christmas clock that everyone hates just played the midnight, get your butt into bed song. Night!

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