Tuesday, December 22, 2009

She should have made a list, but there's no time to check it twice.

I've had a bunch of holiday-themed posts swimming around in my head but no time to blog. In substitute, I offer this bloated list of half-baked holiday musings.

1. I want to read more Christmas letters . . . obnoxious or not.
I love receiving holiday cards, feeling the love and seeing the smiles of friends and family from around the country. I love sending cards as well or, rather, love having sent them. The actual process of finding a photo, rounding up the addresses, and feeling guilty for not writing nice personal notes in each card (and thus worrying that all the time, energy, and expense is partially a waste if I don't even make/have time to make each card meaningful) all wear me out. I was thinking that one solution would be to enclose a letter. Sure, it would not be personal to each recipient, but it would be a way to share some highlights of the past year. Of all our cards received thus far, only TWO have contained letters. My theory? Rolling one's eyes at obnoxious, braggy Christmas letters is so common now that families are afraid to send a letter, lest they be judged obnoxious and braggy. Even if some letters could use a few "not to brag's" thrown in here and there, I would still be delighted to read holiday letters from friends and family. So, next year, you write one and so will I. Just my 44 cents.

2. I need a go-to holiday baked good or treat for next year and the year after and etc.
Last year's schweaty oreo balls looked like poop (literally) but tasted amazing. This year, I tried making red velvet cake balls. They don't look good and they taste like nothing special -- wet cake covered in white chocolate? I'm not blaming the source of the recipe because I attempted the cake balls this afternoon when I was running on empty and had no patience to try to make them look nice. I'm not interested in baking up a storm during the holidays, but I would like to have a couple of go-to items that I could share with others without shame or apology. Any suggestions?

First attempt was dipping the cake balls in white chocolate as instructed.
Then, I gave up and just topped them with the chocolate. Are you drooling?

3. If you need a last minute gift for a little kid, go to CVS.
Bub is obsessed with snow globes, and I got the cutest snow globe in the CVS photo department. It was $5.99 and has a plastic dome not a glass one (good news for a household in which a glass snow globe recently shattered, resulting in much mess and many tears). Plus, you can personalize it with your own photos. I know Bub will love his!

4. I suspect my baby loves ham.
Why else would I be drooling over the grocery store ads featuring spiral-sliced ham? Just looks so good to me right now. I have refrained from buying one since I we won't be home for Christmas or hosting anything, but I'm thinking a New Year's ham here at Casa MEP might have to happen.

5. The holidays are exhausting me, and they haven't even started yet.
I do not think that we go overboard in terms of what we buy or even the number of people with whom we exchange gifts, but I still find selecting and wrapping to be overwhelming. I'm not hosting a damn thing this holiday season and am not expected to make significant food contributions any place that I'm going, but I have fretted over my measly contributions. We don't need to be fancily dressed anywhere we're going either, but I feel weary just thinking about packing for myself and the boys tomorrow morning. There's so much to do and remember during the holidays, and most of it falls on moms. These last two weeks when I've stayed up until midnight almost every night trying to get stuff done, I have also been wondering how my mom managed (and still manages) to shop for her five kids (and now their spouses and children) and husband and relatives plus host holiday meals and bake and remember to do kind things for others and etc.. I know once the car is packed and we hit the road, I'll feel full of excitement but until then I will be checking the list I haven't even bothered to write out. When you see your mom this holiday season, hug her really tightly and thank her for years of making it all happen.

6. "Baby It's Cold Outside" is my new favorite Christmas song.

7. I want to share some pictures of my kids so you can fully appreciate the cuteness of them and their holiday apparel. NTB.

8. Bub found my camera this morning and took about thirty pictures while I was otherwise engaged. Most of the photos were of Ricky Gervais singing a lullaby to Elmo on the television, but he did get the shot below which captures an extremely rare moment of tidiness and calm Casa MEP.
I feel like this post is a little bah humbug, which is not what I intended. At this time of year, I am especially thankful for our healthy, happy children; for the friends whose smiles fill our mailbox; and for our loving families. We will be seeing various groups of relatives from my family and hubby's over the next week or so, and I have to say that I am genuinely looking forward to each and every gathering.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Your house does look tidy! Traveling at the holidays is an added stress that I am grateful I don't have to endure. We will try our best to make it worth it at this end of the trip:). Perhaps you could whip up your hot vomit on a chip while in town???


Steph said...

I loved those smiles! Merry Christmas!

PITA said...

I love those cute little smiles....and I LOVE baby it's cold outside. I can't wait to see you soon!

Anonymous said...

First, your boys are adorable. Those eyes on Little Bit get me every time I see his pic. Second, do you feel pressured to bake? If not, make your holiday go-to a pretzel with a rolo on top. Put them in the oven until the rolo is slightly melted, then top with a pecan. Delicious, and the most time consuming part is unwrapping the rolo. I also discovered this year a tasty treat that involves mixing peanuts (your boys aren't allergic, are they?) with Heath bits. Mix them up with a package of milk chocolate candy topping. Scoop them onto wax paper and watch them turn into deliciousness. CKM

Actchy said...

I don't think your post sounds bah-humbug-ish. I think it sounds like Christmas. Especially the few moments of calm amongst the storm. I got filled up reading it. But then again, as it's Acey's birthday today, this is no surprise: everything is causing me to fill up.

Oh, and I've had CKM's pretzel-rolo-nut confection, and I found it much to my liking.

E... said...

I make the same peppermint chocolate bark every year, and it is super easy. I'm not sure people truly love it, but it looks pretty and festive, and I'm going to hang onto it as my trademark holiday food. Just throw a box of candy canes (okay, you have to unwrap them) into the blender, chop until not dust, then mix them into a bag of chocolate chips you have melted in the microwave. Spread on a cookie sheet, throw in the fridge overnight, then break into pieces. Just use your old ratty cookie sheet, though, because if you use a new non stick one, it will not come off the sheet, and you will throw the whole pan in the sink and stomp off, and your husband will have to save your butt and the candy with the pizza cutter.
I am fascinated by your ham craving this pregnancy. I remember with Little Bit it was basil, and don't know about the bub. Do you think this has any connection to the kid's personality? B/c with O. it was Cheezits and Cheetos, and with N. it was doughnuts, so I'm wondering if that means you are going to have a southern belle and a kid that speaks Italian and I'm going to have junk food chomping couch potatoes? Not really, but interesting to think about.
I def. agree with your holiday letter theories. I want to read more letters too, but am afraid to write one, so am glad for your pact.
Have safe and merry travels. I am so hugging my mom tomorrow.

CaraBee said...

Following on E...'s comment. I craved Mexican food like crazy when I was pregnant and Sophie is one feisty little jumping bean. Not sure what that means for mini-MEP, but ham is awfully delicious, so it can only be good.

We didn't get one single letter this year. We got probably 60 cards and not one. I figured the tradition was dying out. I would like to see them, though. Maybe I'll do one next year.

My go-to holiday treat is peanut butter balls. Which I think Ohio folks call Buckeyes. Everyone I have ever met loves them. They're labor intensive but SOO good.

Merry Christmas!!

WPA said...

I recommend making Buckeyes. They are super easy and everyone likes chocolate and peanut butter. Plus when you live out of town, it gives you an added reason to talk about how Ohio is full of novel treats like Buckeye candies!

Sue and Randy said...

The boys look so handsome--just want to kiss those smiling faces through the screen!
As for the cake balls, don't give up. I bake often and typically get compliments, but this time, it was off the hook! I had a neighbor tell me they were the best thing she ever put in her mouth and another neighbor called to thank me and I heard her husband in the back yelling words including "awesome." I recommend ditching the white chocolate, go with all (dark) chocolate and use the cupcake bites variation from Bakerella. I also couldn't make the balls attractive just by dipping. Using the candy mold helped a lot! Happy New Year!

Nap Warden said...

OMG...how cute are those little guys!

Hope you had a great Holiday:)

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Look at those cutie pies! Love the pics.

Sarah D said...

Your boys look so cute and I love the festive sweaters.

Blog Designed by : NW Designs