Welcome to my humor blog where I offer my take on: Life - that crazy stuff that happens on the way to your dreams *** Liberty - to Snippet on any subject that pops into my brain *** and the Pursuit of Happiness - both yours and mine.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

One Tough Cookie

Clear the kitchen and block all phone calls…it’s time for my annual Christmas Cookies Bake-a-Thon.  
I love dessert but must admit I’m not the best baker in the world. Don’t have the “hand” as my Grandma used to say. If a recipe calls for yeast, kneading or rising, I don’t make it.  But when it comes to cookies, I taught that big blue crumb-munching monster everything he knows. 
Of course, there was that one unfortunate incident that almost caused me to hang up my apron for good. After numerous attempts to bake chocolate chip cookies had failed, my friend, Suze, called me for help. Frustrated and desperate to succeed, she asked if we could make a batch together. Cookie aficionado that I am, I agreed to show her how to make the easiest cookies in the world correctly. They flopped.

We decided her oven was haunted

It’s not that my oven’s humming all the time, mind you.  I’m no competition for Mrs.Fields. Once every few months you might walk into my house and catch the sweet smell of homemade goodies wafting through the house. But when the holidays approach, things change.

Every year at this time I vow I’m only going to bake one or two batches and every year it’s the same old story. The members of my family have their cookie favorites, but no one likes anyone else’s favorites.  So I have to bake fifteen different batches, which yields about 500 cookies.

Do you know how much Tupperware it takes to store 500 cookies? I had to become a sales rep just to get my supply at wholesale. Storage is another challenge.  Hint - don’t go into my garage looking for a hammer.

Then there’s the time factor. Can you guess how long it takes to bake that many cookies when you start a few days before Christmas? Hey, I was busy! 

Least favorite part of cookie baking? The clean-up. I don’t believe in the wash as you go method, so when the bake-a-thon is over, every bowl, spoon, wall and counter top in my kitchen is covered in either flour or batter splatter. It’s not a pretty sight. Last year at this time, hubby Garth hid out at the Holiday Inn for a week just to avoid the mess. Smart guy.

Some people ask, “Why bother?”

Obviously they don’t appreciate the finer culinary delights of five pounds of butter and six bags of white sugar combined into sheer bliss.

I might complain about the cookie baking stress and mess, but there’s no way I would ever celebrate Christmas without my beloved treats. So this year I’ve come up with a new method to get me through the bake-a-thon. Instead of putting the bourbon in the Kentucky cordial delights, I’m going to put it in a glass over ice. The cookies might not turn out just right, but I predict I won’t care in the least.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Re-Gifters

Christmas is coming and ‘tis the season for the re-gifters to be jolly. You know who they are - those little elves lurking in the shadows, ready to bestow rebound gifts upon unsuspecting friends and family members.  

Like an expert slight-of-hand magician trying to fool someone with the old shell game, I confess I’ve taken part in this elfish present-ploy myself.  I once got a ceramic tea pot with blue chickens painted on it as a gift. It was cute, except I hate blue, don’t drink hot tea and barnyard animals don’t match my home’s decor. I sent it to my cousin who lives on a farm in the Midwest.

Sometimes, re-gifting works really well, but it can also cause embarrassment.

I was at lunch with my friends Suze and Mary.  Suze said, “Great scarf, Marcia,” then turned to Mary and asked, “Didn’t I give you one just like it for your birthday last year? Guess we both have the same fabulous taste.”  Oops!

In defense of re-gifting, if budget is a concern, this simple solution can relieve your credit cards from getting overstuffed like the holiday turkey. And if by some weird twist of fate the giftee discovers you re-gifted their present, show them your bank statement and all will be forgiven anyway.

I equate re-gifting to garage sales - one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. If it’s not your taste, color, size or helps decrease the clutter on your end tables, go for it. 

One word of caution. If you don’t have the memory of an elephant or a six year excel spread sheet listing every gift you’ve ever given or received, don’t even think about jumping into the re-gifting fray. It’s dog-eat-dog out there.     

The way I look at it, there are only two situations that guarantee re-gifting will work:

            White elephant exchanges…the goofier the gift, the better the results.

            Sharing the Christmas Story of Jesus’ birth…the more you gift that Good News,
                        the better the results.

Yep, Christmas is coming and ‘tis the season for the re-gifters to be jolly. You know who they are – those little elves lurking in the shadows, ready to bestow God’s gift of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all” unto their unsuspecting friends and family members.  

Sounds good to me. I’ll take the “reason for the season” over a hand-knit vest,  adorned with scary Santas, any ole day.