This Holiday season seems to have been on warp speed. It is hard to believe that it is already Christmas Eve. The big news at our house is that Ella has lost her first tooth, meaning that the Tooth Fairy AND Santa will be visiting our home all within the same week!
I went back to work the Monday after Thanksgiving, but that has not derailed my holiday baking. So far, I think I have made about 12 dozen gingerbread cookies. Some were for school parties others were gifts and more than a few have been consumed by us. Naturally, I have also made a lot of decorated sugar cookies, peppermint bark, cupcakes, toffee, rum balls, lemon persimmon bars, oodles of baked sweet breads, Cornflake snowflakes, coconut "snow balls", GF peppermint ice cream cake and I even brought out my cookie press a time or two. (We are working on our "relationship" and the courtship has been a bit rough at times.) All of this has made for a busy month, not that I am complaining. I love this time of year. And nothing makes me happier than seeing the excitement on my kid's faces.
Sometimes it is hard to slow down enough to enjoy the moment, but I am trying. A dear family friend passed away last week and my sister has been quite sick with a horrific throat infection. Nothing about this has been fun, especially because it is Christmas time. So I have been counting my blessings and trying to appreciate everything that is valuable and great in my life. And saying my prayers that my sister will have a Christmas miracle!
Since she has been sick and my brother in law is recovering from a recent appendectomy, we have been having lots of play dates with my niece and nephew. Having all of that youthful energy and laughter around the house is really special. Let's be honest, having four kids under the age of 5 all at once can be a little.... exhausting. But fun. :) My daughter has her food allergies, my son cannot eat pecans and my nephew is allergic to eggs. There is a lot of discussion before each snack or meal is consumed. Thankfully there are so many goody options that no one feels like they are "suffering". We had Chinese food for lunch yesterday and each kid had something different on their plate. My son and niece were eating low mein (with wheat based noodles). My daughter said, "Mommy, I feel left out. Why don't I have noodles, too?" She had veggie rice without soy or egg, but these kids like to all have the same stuff. So I let her taste the noodles, which she immediately spit out. "Too saucy!" So many overlapping needs and tastes! We do what we can.
Tonight we are going to make a big dinner, Italian style. (Isn't that what all of the German-Irish families do on Christmas Eve?) Hopefully we will make a dent on some of those desserts! And Christmas day will be filled with presents and even more food. Something tells me I am also going to have to fit in some time at the gym when the dust settles.
I hope all of you have a safe, healthy and especially joyful holiday. Please eat with care when someone else is preparing your meal. Don't forget your safety kits, just in case. Sending you a giant hug and a wish for a very happy new year!