Do you smell that? Come on, take a deep breath. Nice, huh? Yesterday was baking day and now my house is filled with goodies. Cookies, and more cookies, and “dream bars” that aren’t exactly dreamlike but definitely pretty tasty, and fudge and, of course, fresh coffee. Want some?
You know, not many families outside the close-kneaded clan of the Pillsbury Dough Boy have cookie baking legacies. Mine does. And I’m not saying that because we owned a bakery. We didn’t. I don’t even think anyone in the direct bloodline ever opened so much as a food truck. I’m saying it because when we were kids, my mother would turn the house into a full scale factory for one day a year to produce hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies.
Not ordinary cookies. While many people make the classic sugar cookies, or those white rolled almond balls that make you cough from the powdered sugar when you eat them, those were too plain for my family. I’m talking three colors of butter cookie dough, red, green, and white, rolled out and cut into stars, trees, angels, wreaths, holly leaves, snowmen, and Santas, all brushed with colored egg white to make sugars stick or make facial details, then baked and hand decorated. Each one had icing in patterns, with accouterments like edible silver balls, cinnamon dots, and sugar sprinkles.
Oh, yeah, and the icing was flavored peppermint, too.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that we made hundreds. I think we maxed out at around 1,200, if memory is correct. See, Mum used to give out plates of them as gifts, and send them in to the class parties we’d have in school. As the number of kids grew, so grew the number of cookies needed to send in to school. Then we had Catechism, so cookies had to be sent in there. Then Dad went to work for a different company, one with people he actually liked, so cookies had to be made to go there…
Then, the cookies took on their own followers. People would ask us if we were doing the cookies again with a glazed and hopeful look in their eye, a not-so-subtle way of letting us know they fully expected a plate of their own that year. Our teachers in high school gave us a pass to miss classes on Cookie Day. In fact, by the time I was a senior, my advisor brought it up herself. She said, “It’s getting close to Christmas. Let me know when Cookie Day is and I’ll give you your assignments so you won’t miss anything.”
See, the desire wasn’t for a note of kinship, appreciation, “I’m thinking about you this holiday.” They didn’t really want warm wishes from any of us. All they wanted was the cookies. They were jonesin’, and it wasn’t for holiday tidings. They wanted the cookies.
The creation had surpassed the creator.
Now, I’m not saying the cookies gained sentience and started to be the ones in control, because I’m fairly certain there may be one or two still out there somewhere, acquiring minions and amassing the necessary arsenal to take over the world. If I had to guess, I’d say it was the blurry eyed snowman and the Christmas tree covered in cinnamon dots. Those were the least popular. They’d be the ones with a literal chip on their shoulders.
“Bethie, you worry me.”
Not the first time I’ve heard that, my friend.
I didn’t make those kinds of cookies this year. I made the butter cookies, but I did them in fewer numbers, less shapes, and we passed on the icing.
*gasp from any town folk reading this*
That’s right, those of you who remember. No Epic Bearded Santas. We were making so many other cookies and the amount of sugar in front of me was staggering. And though the boys were surprisingly helpful, that only goes so far. You cannot fathom the sheer amount of work that goes into making and hand decorating a thousand cookies. When we helped Mum as kids, we’d even have our close friends come over to help. It was all day long, all hands on deck, spread all over the downstairs of a large house. By the end of sugaring the cookies before baking yesterday, the boys had already resorted to “ugly cookie contest” and more sugars were thrown at each other than ended up on the cookies. Boys individually are helpful. Boys as a herd are a walking fart joke.
Besides, it was my Mum’s fantastic tradition. She was that Santa at the helm. We were just elves. It was her thing, and I honestly don’t think any of us girls would do it justice. You can’t recreate something like that, you know?
So my house has many different kinds of cookies, the bulk being peanut butter cookies. They may not be as fancy as the Epic Bearded Santas, but they are gaining in popularity. And they’re made of peanut butter…not the most intelligent of ingredients. I highly doubt they could ever band together and take over the world. It’s not like they’re gingerbread or anything.
Good cookie smell, hot coffee… The cat left the decor alone last night! …unless there’s something I just haven’t found yet. And Christmas in Bethie’s house will be held today, so that the kiddies who make up the blended part of our family are free tomorrow to see their other family branches. All in all, it’s a good morning.
In fact…it’s so good, that I’m feeling downright peppy. I wasn’t really going to do this, but… *cue the go-go dancers* *cue the catchy theme music*
CHRISTMAS HEADLINE ROUNDUP TIME!!!
Yes! Deck those halls and laugh while you do it! The go-go dancers happened to have some glittery Santa caps, the orchestra wrapped up their concert and were sitting there bored. Why not put them to use and do a Roundup? Everyone give them a round of applause before they clear the stage.
Okay, with the intro out of the way, let’s get right into it. Even though it’s a Holiday Roundup, the rules are the same. The headlines are real. I just supply the ho-ho-ho after.
– Hammerhead Steals Bait Box From Diver
Bait Car Animal Planet
– Drones Become Popular Holiday Gift
“Oh look, Stan. The NSA sent us a cute little plane…thing…” “Don’t touch it, Shelia!” “Oh you and your conspiracies….”
– Kelly Clarkson Takes Daughter to See Santa
Glad MSN was on the ball. Other news sites seem to be in party mode already. It’s nice that there’s someone out there who remains diligent and brings us the hard hitting stories no matter if it’s a holiday or not. THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW.
– 8 Foreign Cultural Norms that Americans Find Gross
I’ve got a delicate constitution and didn’t click on it. I’m queasy just from imagining what’s on that list and I really want to keep my coffee in place.
– Kendall and Kris Jenner do Sexy Mother-Daughter Dance
I cannot be the only one who just threw up a little. Exile them. Exile them now.
– Is Santa a Republican or a Democrat?
– Protesters Defy NY Call for Moratorium
How is it that anyone thought this would go differently??
– Which Platform Would Santa Run On?
Wait, what? I already shut this one down. Stop making Santa political.
– Record Spending on Gifts for Pets for Christmas
I saw an ad for cards for dogs. CARDS for DOGS. People, get your shit together.
– Would You Vote for Santa for President?
DAMN IT. Fine. You want to have this out? Let’s do it. Santa would not run for office. Not only is he above the petty life of a politician, he lives in the North Pole. The NORTH POLE. He is not a US citizen, you conceited f-wads. I can’t believe I even have to say this.
– In Japan, Nothing Beats Fried Chicken Take-Out for Christmas
Now that is a cultural tradition I can really get behind.
– Jesus’ Birthplace Grapples with Modern Traffic Challenges
Are they making the manger a drive-thru? Admit it…you’re kinda hoping they are, too.
– Holiday Travel Bid by Man in Naked Fall
…I don’t really want to know what’s going on there.
– Who is the Patriots MVP? The Answer Might Bore You.
Then I won’t bother with this article. Thanks for the heads up.
– Sell Your Holiday Gift Cards for Cash
Not even through the holiday season and already people are telling you how to dump your unwanted gifts.
– 10 Gifts You Should Re-gift and Who to Give Them To
My eye is twitching. The amount of entitled asshattery in this headline is literally making my eye twitch.
– Anti-Gun PSA Urges Kids to Steal Parents’ Firearms
The article is about a PSA that tells kids to take their parents’ guns to school and turn them in to the teachers. O…M….G…. Forget the re-gifting buffoonery. It’s not just my eye that’s twiching now.
– US Navy Investigating Soldier Who Claimed to Have Shot Bin Laden
Why is there investigation necessary? What the hell kind of operation is the US military running when they don’t even know who killed their number one enemy?
…oh. Wait. That’s right…
– When a Deaf 15-Year Old Boy Finally Learns to Speak, What Does He Say?
Welp, he’s 15. Odds are very good you’d be disappointed in what comes out of his mouth.
– S. Korea to Prosecute “Nut Rage” Official
Hey, you try to get all the meat out of a Brazil nut and see how calm YOU feel!
– Man Mistakenly Sells Mattress Set With Cat Inside
I’m looking at my mattress and trying to figure out how in the hell a cat could get INSIDE…it’s gotta be a hole, right? Then why would someone actually pay money for a mattress with a big hole in it? So many questions…so little desire to actually read the article…
– Fat and Sugar: The Best and Worst of 2014
Spoiler: It being the year 2014 changed nothing. Fat and sugar were still bad.
– Ukraine Pokes Russia, Makes Move Towards NATO
But Russia already had its toe on the basketball hoop and called “Safety!” and spent the next half hour uselessly trying to convince NATO that it was not, in fact, “it”.
– Hungary’s Orban Accuses US of Meddling in Central Europe
Duh. Why don’t you take a minute to point out that the sky is blue while you’re at it.
– How the US Helped Imprisoned Cuban Spy Impregnate His Wife
Gug. EVERYONE’S gotta have a sex tape these days. I think I’ll pass on “Hot Nights in Gitmo,” thnx.
– From Vietnam With Love: Local Caviar Aims to Make Splash
Yes, because nothing says “I love you” like squeezing a fish and eating what squirts out.
– Is Barak Obama a Closet Geek?
HE HAD A LIGHT SABER BATTLE ON THE WHITE HOUSE LAWN. There is no “closet” here, people.
– New York Transit Officials Aim to Curb “Manspreading” on Trains
“Manspreading?!!” On a TRAIN??? Ew. Ew ew ew. Just…EW.
– Woman Reunited with Car Stolen 30 Years Ago
It was magical. She brought Vietnamese caviar, the auto set up the tape and…well, let’s just say it’s giving “Hot Nights in Gitmo” a run for its money.
– Obama’s Popularity Falls to Record Low Among US Troops. Why?
He’s battling with light sabers. It’s not rocket science, people.
*I would like to state for the record that I am firmly behind light saber battles, but I do recognize that they don’t instill confidence in one’s military strategy*
– China Sensors News on Sony Hack
And there it is. Can’t have a roundup without checking the “No Shit Gazette,” can we?
– Naughty Texts Spur Scandalous Play
…Okay, two. Two entires from the “No Shit Gazette.”
– Child Caught Choking, Police Get Involved
“Is that a poorly masticated chunk of pizza in your throat? No use trying to hide it. This isn’t my first day on the beat. Think you can just waltz into MY territory and choke, you little bastard? NOT ON MY WATCH.”
*Not to be political, but isn’t that an odd way to phrase it? Shouldn’t it say “Cop Saves Boy From Choking?” Why does even this clearly heroic act call for a bizarrely negative connotation in the headline? Just throwin’ it out there for consideration…*
– Obama Approval on the Upswing
Dude. You JUST showed us an article that says the exact opposite. I understand wanting to appeal to all parties, but my god. It’s seriously like three articles later. I can see the headline on the SAME PAGE. Are you even trying anymore, CNN?
– Surgery Selfies get MDs in Trouble
WHY IS THIS EVEN A THING??!!
– Castaway Spotted on Island
But, like, you know, it was kind of out of the way so maybe they’ll pick him up if they swing by again sometime…
– Pennsylvanian Police Find Head on Road, Seeking Body to Match
Recently-separated head looking for compatible body to share long synapses on these cold Pennsylvania winter nights. The right body will be someone who wants to take the submissive role and let me make the big decisions, but will also have the drive to really take us places in life. Interested parties please submit your profile to the P. State Police, Attn: head4luv22
…what? Don’t act like you weren’t thinking it.
Thus concludes a Christmas Eve Musing for Wednesday, December 24, 2014. The kiddies are up. Time to torture them by taunting them with gifts they are not allowed to shake. I love being the parent sometimes…