1. Any Christmas book by Robert Sabuda. I wish I could have one tenth of his talent. I collect pop-up books and his are the best. (And his Christmas ones are better than the best.) Love, love, love.
2. The first taste of the first home-made Scottish Shortbread of the year. Easiest (and best) cookie ever. I still remember the recipe (which I had to copy out of a book when I was in sixth grade and I did a report on Scotland and we all had to make a food from our country.)
Here it is:
2 cups flour
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
Seriously. Does it get any easier than that? Oven at 300. Roll out the dough, cut into shapes (I like to cut mine into Scotty dogs usually, but I couldn't find the right cutter so we have stars...lots and lots of stars.) Cook until they are that lovely shade of golden.
3. Listening for the sound of that last drop of rain on the skylight. (I think...yes...last drop! No, wait...still one more......) It's been raining for days on end. Can't wait to hear the last drop.
4. The loveliness of an uncluttered brain. Sure, I've relatives coming and cooking to do and presents to wrap, but my brain has that lovely time to flit away and imagine stuff about the story I am revising and, wow, it's just so nice to be able to do that. Having time to think is the best, people, the best!
5. Getting to go to the bathroom whenever I want to. Ah, the simple pleasures. You know, I read somewhere that teachers have more UTI's than most people because they can never get to the bathroom....I know, TMI. (But sometimes I just go when I am home not because I NEED to, but just because I can...whenever I want....no worries about if it's recess or not.)
6. Lights on the tree late at night.
7. Lights on the tree first thing in the morning.
8. The knowledge that I'll have time to clean up any mess that anybody (including myself) makes.
9. Making menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Red chile enchiladas
Green chile enchiladas
Lettuce, tomato for garnish
(Don't you love all the red and green!)
Appetizers: The Thomas Girl Cheese Ball (an old family recipe...naaahh...I really just invented it a few years ago with my girls and now it's a tradition.)
Prime Rib with cabernet sauce (if I remember to make it this year!)
Mormon Potatoes (Not a Mormon myself, but the recipe is courtesy of my brother, who is.)
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
Artichoke and mushroom salad
Clementine, pomegranate, bleu cheese and pecan salad over baby greens
Sauteed Spinach (Ewwww...but other people like it and Sean will make it, so who am I to ruin their holiday spinach eating fun....but really? gross.)
Trifle (with angel-food cake, in honor of the birthday boy....Baby Jesus.) Okay, it's not really trifle, but it's in a big trifle bowl, with cake bits and whipped heavy cream and strawberries and raspberries....and it looks so pretty.! Yum.
10. I love that I have time to read blogs and catch up. Yeah, I know...perfect timing....just when everyone else is going on blog holiday!!! But at least I can catch up a bit.
Wishing you the happiest Christmas ever!