I’ve debated back and forth this year about getting a tree. Last year, my first Xmas in the house, I got a large tree and decorated it with Susan’s help and a lot of her ornaments. (Yes, she has so many she can decorate her tree and mine!) The first night Otto jumped into it pulling the whole tree down. Now, I know better than to have fragile, expensive, breakable ornaments on my tree, so I lost only a few balls, but the tree was near impossible to upright and the stand full of water was a pain to clean. And this year I won’t be in my house for Xmas, but I am doing a little entertaining, so I decided to try a different kind of tree this year:
It’s not as cozy as a real tree, but it’s still festive.
I’ve never really been much for holiday baking. There are so many great bakers in my family, cookies just always showed up. Since I’ve moved back to Pittsburgh I’ve been included in the traditional baking of my grandmother’s cookies and nut rolls. These cookies are so labor intensive and my grandmother made them every year, on her own, in her tiny kitchen. We work together on these cookies, blood relatives only, and marvel at my grandmothers ability to do these on her own. (Well, there’s been an infiltrator in recent years, but we welcome the help.)
Susan came up with the idea of having a Cookie Exchange party this year. I knew immediately that I wanted to make Aunt Mary’s Spice Cookies. This recipe is ridiculously large, measurements in pounds and half pounds vs. cups. They are cookies that remind me of past Christmases and they make a good amount. There were so many of us at last night’s Cookie Exchange party that I had to put both leaves into my already large dining room table to accommodate all the baked goodies!
We all had a chance to say a little about the cookies that we brought and then passed them around so each person could take their share. We passed copies of the recipes around, so now we each have 12 new cookie recipes in our collection.
Of course, all of us being knitters, there had to be yarn! We did a yarn grab bag game with destash yarn and everyone walked away with some fresh new additions to their stash. I can’t believe 13 people fit into my tiny, little living room.
This has been a really fun way to celebrate the season!