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Christmas baking

Posted 12-01-2008 at 03:20 PM by timmy tiger
Well, this is Dec 1st and the first day of my busiest month of the year. Not for work or getting ready for a pow wow or anything like that, but busy with my kids and spending some major quality time with them baking and getting ready for Christmas.

For the last approx 16 years a week before Christmas I gather up all the kids in the family who are around and available and we spend about two days baking cookies and breads and muffins to put out for the holiday. I started this when my son was about 4 years old and it was just him and my oldest niece that year, they were asking if they could help me and so we had a blast. It has grown over the years to all the kids who are around and available. One year I actually had all 6 kids, but for the most years it was just the 5. And now that my son is older and out of the house, my oldest niece is now married and has a little one of her own and my youngest nephew doesn't really like to bake I keep thinking that the list will get shorter and I will have less to do. Nope, not my luck.LOL

For the past 5 years my two youngest nieces have come to me around Halloween time and asked "Auntie, are we gonna come over and bake cookies with you again this year." And my answer is always "Of course, if that's what you want to do." They get so excited. Then Thanksgiving night after dinner and all the desserts are eaten, the kids (all of them who are around) and I sit down at the table and make a list of what they want to bake. I will go through all my recipe books and make a list of everything that we need for all the stuff and then I go to the store and buy it. Then about a week before Christmas or when they are off from school, we will take two days and bake our butts off. For many years it was such a big deal that they would come over early one morning, spend the night and leave late that next night. That hasn't happened in several years now. And for the past 2-3 years my two younger nieces have been making and decorating Gingerbread houses. I've made them for years and although they are pretty, I like the looks, I like making them and I like the smell of gingerbread, I just don't like the taste.LOL So I make it and use it for a center piece on my table and then Christmas night I give it away to someone. Since the girls have been decorating them, they have been getting to take them home and they tear them up.LOL

But this isn't just about baking for Christmas. It's also (and more importantly) about spending quality time just me and the kids. This is the time when we talk about anything and everything that's on their minds. School, home, boyfriends, girlfriends (my son.LOL), anything that might be bothering them and some awesome memories from previous years baking.


Like the time that I got new cookie sheets and couldn't see over them and it started shaking on me and I thought that we had had an earth quake or something (here?LMAO)--it turns out I clobbered my son with it.LMAO It was an accident (that's my story and I'm sticking to it too.LMAO). Then there was the year that my oldest niece sat on a cookie sheet of Chocolate chip cookies before they went into the oven to be baked.LOL Or the one year that I had just stepped out of the kitchen for a minute and my two younger nieces got mad at each other and got into a cookie dough fight. I was finding cookie dough in the strangest places for weeks.LOL And I clean my kitchen all the time.LMAO There was the year that we had a cross dressing santa clause and a bearded Mrs. Clause.LOL And then there was last year when they decorated the Gingerbread house and my poor poor dining room. I had candy from one end of the floor to the other.LOL I had to vacuum 3 times just to get it all up. That was a candy house not a Gingerbread house, you could not see an inch of Gingerbread on it at all.LOL But we've all had so much fun over the years and it still goes on every year, so far.LOL

I talked to my oldest niece last year and she said "Awe Auntie, I so miss baking and the good times we always had." Well, now her little one is only two, but I'm hoping that one day she will join us and get the same chance that her momma had. Then I have two 5 year old nieces and I'm thinking of trying to get them here to start them doing the same thing too. So, although with the years passing and the kids getting older and having lives that they can't always do this, there are younger ones now coming up who are almost ready to start too. So this will continue as long as I am alive.LOL And it is my most favorite time of the year. I love the whole month of December: making lists, going through cookbooks, getting all the stuff we need and having all the kids here in my home for how ever long I can get them. It's all wonderful and so much fun. I look forward to this for months, actually all year long.LOL And I pay for it all, I spend more money on baking stuff then I do on gifts and have for years.LOL

With there being less kids right now I thought that the baking list would get smaller. Like I said before, not my luck.LOL And every year we will add a new one and sometimes take one off the list.LOL And this year is still no different.

This years list so far:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pineapple Cookies (these are really Easter cookies, but were requested last year and now this year.LOL)
Rice Crispy Treats
Brownies (from scratch)
Baklava
Oatmeal Rasin Cookies
Thumb print cookies
PeanutButter Cookies
Cherry Crumb Bars (this is new for this year)
Stolen
Banana Bread
Blueberry Bread
Pumpkin Bread
Apple Muffins (I usually make these in the shape of snow flakes and christmas trees and this year I might make them in the shape of bells too)


Other stuff I make:
Chex Mix
Cocktail Meatballs in a sauce
Spinach Balls
Beef and Cheese spread
Stuffed Mushrooms

Then there's the dessert for christmas dinner which is usually: Dutch Apple pie, Cherry Cheesecake, Pumpin Roll, maybe a Pumpkin Pie this year.LOL

Then every year I open my door on christmas eve and anyone who wants to come over and eat usually does.LOL There have been years when my house was packed.LOL

Then I make Christmas dinner for everyone and after dinner I pass out.LOL And everyone stays clear.j/k LOL

So I am so looking forward to this month and can't wait. I'm ready to go.LOL I think. I don't know if my house is ready, but I think I am.LOL I'm gonna start the shopping next week. I'm so looking forward to it totally.
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Shopping tips:
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Just be careful about bank card and debit card. Do not necessarily leave it behind.

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Do not go shopping if you are tired or depressed. You cannot realize what to buy.
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