There are exactly 8 more days until Christmas, if you include today, which is a miserable, cold, rainy day that promises heavy traffic, multiple auto accidents, and an intense all-day longing for a warm bed.
I was sorely tempted to stay home today, to call in sick and catch up on my sleep, which I desperately need to do. I envisioned a long morning nap, a hearty hot lunch, then some leisurely Christmas shopping, all before picking up my oldest daughter in time to shuttle her and myself to my youngest daughter’s holiday performance at her preschool. (Very Hallmark.)
But here’s the thing, in order to make it to all the damn holiday performances, I already have to take time off of work, and the kiddos are out of school for the next two weeks, which means using more of my precious vacation time; so off to work I go. At 7 AM.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy their holiday performances and their vacations, it’s just that this week, this final full week before Christmas, is when you really feel that holiday crunch, because every performance requires a special outfit, and sometimes props, and most require bringing gifts, or cookies, or an entrée, or wine, or gifts, an entrée, cookies and wine, or money for a gift certificate, or some other form of good will. And I like to give, I really do, it’s just hard to stay organized sometimes, and hard to stay solvent.
Plus there’s that nagging voice in the back of my mind that’s whispering, “you have no idea what you still need to secure before Christmas morning” (for my own family). But I really can’t be bothered right now because I still have to find someway to dash out at lunch and buy cookies that I can hopefully pass off as homemade before today’s 4 PM performance.
In some ways this final full week is exciting and joyous, the anticipation of whether or not you can pull off the seemingly endless stream of good tidings driving you ever forward; in some ways it just tears down your immune system.
So to you, XUP, who commented yesterday that, “Everybody on this blog seems to live a Hallmark life.” I say, not so, not so. However, I am all for lying about it to get Hallmark to sponsor the blog and send us tons of money, as you suggested they would. So I’m going to offer you all something that might make your holidays a wee bit less stressful, while still making you look good, and Hallmark-ish. It’s the easiest “cake” recipe I know. You can make in 45 minutes, it tastes great, and it goes perfectly with peppermint ice cream.
Swedish Almond Cake
1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
½ tsp almond flavoring
Stir together until smooth.
Decorate with sliced almonds (press into batter lightly)
Pour into a buttered, floured 8” cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes.