This post was a goodie from last year. Since today is December 1st, and most of you have already started shopping, decorating, and have a never ending to-do list I though I’d remind you of some of the lessons I learned from Lori Rivas last year. Enjoy!
I’ve always loved the Christmas season.
Burl Ives and Amy Grant sing the Christmas song track in my mind. I handmade Christmas cards for everyone in my 8th grade class; decorated a box of gingerbread men for each class in 9th grade. Ask my college buddies — upon returning from Thanksgiving break, my dorm room was fully decked out with ornaments and tinsel. I collect Christmas albums like others gather trinkets. Our everyday dishes feature Christmas trees. I am a little bit of a Christmas nut, and yet, visit my house – no outside lights, no trinkets, no fresh cut tree. Trust me, the decorations are under-whelming.
Are you enjoying this holiday season? Are you filled with joy and cheer and goodwill?
Or are you overbooked, stressed and irritable?
Is this what December feels like to you? I get tense and agitated just watching this commercial. Who wants to celebrate the holidays like that?
You could just sit and chill, relax, enjoy your family, reflect on the meaning of the holidays, pick and choose those activities which are meaningful and enjoyable to you.
Because your family and friends want you, not all those holiday accouterments.
I think that we get sucked into all the shopping and decorations and festivities and parties because, heck, the holidays only come around once a year, and we think that if we don’t take advantage of the fun now, today, then we’ll miss out for a whole ‘nother year.
But, guess what? Every day of your life, every moment, only comes around once in your lifetime.
Do you want to spend the poignant moments of December stressed and spread thin, or do you want to enjoy the company of loved ones, and build relationships with your children and family?
So, pare down. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. The only holidays “musts” are those which you impose upon yourself.
Be comfortable having folks over to your house “as is.” Seriously. Do you want to re-enforce a Martha Stewart standard of perfection on your friends, or would you rather be real with your friends, sharing life and love, dirty laundry and all?
And those gifts – all those holiday sales are just a manipulative marketing plan to sell you more stuff. Check out this recent article from the Los Angeles Times.
Chill, my friend. Enjoy the wonder of Christmas. Eat a cookie, drink some eggnog, listen to some holiday music and celebrate the joy of the season.
Black Dog Ginger Cookies
These cookies are an annual favorite at our house.
1/2 c. coarsely chopped fresh ginger 1 1/2 cups safflower oil 3 cups Sucanat, plus 1 cup for rolling dropped cookie dough 3/4 c fair trade organic molasses 3 free range eggs 1 1/2 t. Celtic sea salt 1 T cinnamon 5 1/4 t. baking soda 3/4 t. ground cloves 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 3 1/2 cups almond flour
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Mix fresh ginger with 1/2 cup of oil in a food processor until well minced.
In a large mixing bowl, blend 3 cups of the Sucanat, molasses and eggs.
Strain the mixed ginger/oil mixture, reserving the liquid (unless you like a
really spicy cookie, then leave the ginger in the oil). Add this liquid,
plus the remaining cup of oil to the egg mixture and blend until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and flour.
Add the dry mix to the wet mix and blend well.
Either line your cookie sheets with parchment paper, or grease with butter.
Scoop the cookie dough by teaspoonfuls and roll in the reserved cup of Sucanat.
Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the tops crack and the cookies are flat.
Makes about 8 dozen cookies.
Photo by Weslie and Chelsey Totten
ginger cookies image from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/ginger-cookies-recipe/index.html