Sunday, December 06, 2009

Bringing the Xmas

You know, I never was a sucker for Christmas. It was not that I actively disliked the season, just that it ranked well below Halloween and Summer vacation. This is something that has changed in the last few years, most of the change can be attributed to children. It brought back some sparkle to the holiday, that little touch of magic it lacked in the years since I had to go and grow up.
Christmas Time

The first two years with the boys were fun, but I still felt in the hazy place of new parenthood. This year they are little people with an instant recognition of the man named Santa (Sandy Claws, due to our obsession with Nightmare Before Christmas) and an even quicker ability to spot candy canes and Christmas lights. And they give me the energy I was hoping to have during the season.

I think I have mentioned before that we are a family of makers, not very good shoppers at all. This year we decided to make it a really Slow Year and consciously avoid the acting of buying. I am trying to make little bits out of my stash and collected bits from nature and other people's craft rooms. We are making lots of quick ornaments for the fresh tree we brought down from our Cabin trip, fast projects that can engage the wandering mind of a two year old. Lately Owen has wanted to cut things (he got to the collar of his home sewn pajamas and did some 'refashioning', let's call it...but Tim caught him before total damage was done). So now he has a hank of yarn, scissors and places to put the snippets to keep him busy.
Christmas makings :: Home made

And we are making cookies.

I always loved sugar cookies, so that was the first flavor of the season. I used the Martha recipe, it was really dry and tough to roll out so I cannot say I recommend it. We actually had to call in Tim to start the roll out process. Once it was rolled out there was the fun process of cookie cutting and I was pretty impressed with their focus, we kept at it for about 2 dozen cookies. The part that made them extra happy was the fact that they got to eat them after baking. (When we made our Cinnamon Ornament cookies they were perplexed as to why we kept telling them they could not eat the finished product, we kept saying "Glue, you cannot eat glue," and then they would ask again and we would explain again etc etc).

The weekend also offered up some moments for sewing, little projects taking shape behind the scenes.
Christmas makings :: Home made
Christmas makings :: Home made
Christmas makings :: Home made

I am feeling inspired by all the great Christmas crafting posts out in the ether, but I am also trying to stay realistic and focus on one thing at a time. I just want to keep the good feeling and avoid the frantic. It seems like a good recipe for enjoying the season, right?

Speaking of recipes, anyone have a winner of a sugar cookie recipe they want to share? I would love to hear it.

Happy Holidays, friends. Hope it is shaping up bright, light and lovely.


LauraC said...

I will email you two recipes I have one. One is for regular sugar cutout cookies, the other is for chocolate cutout cookies. One of my favorite things to do is cut out one of each and put them together with frosting.

Unfortunately though, everyone's favorite sugar cookie recipe seems to be when I make the plastic Betty Crocker bag with butter. I've tried all kinds to share with day care and general consensus is - cookies from a bag. That's what we'll be doing on Christmas eve to minimize time in the kitchen and maximize time as a family.

amisha said...

this looks like so much fun. i can't wait to be done with school so the holiday baking can begin :)
i haven't made sugar cookies in awhile but last time i think i just used the recipe on the bag of sugar! and i remember them being pretty tasty :)

jillian said...

Sounds like the perfect approach to enjoy the holidays without being overwhelmed!

Sereknitty said...

I've had so much fun catching up on your blog entries -- the pj's are adorable and I loved all the photos of you all wearing the lovely handknits. I commend you for taking the 'commercial' out of Christmas and instead leaving your children with wonderful memories of time spent together creating.

The Adventures of Carrie, Brook, Finn and Reid said...

Wow. Lots to catch up on.

Wow. Those boys are CUTE! Mr. Hand Knit Magazine models. :)

This weekend we did cookies, but I mixed, cut out and baked during nap time so their job was simply to decorate. Next weekend we'll go for the gusto and do the whole shebang. AND...

I used the Martha Steward recipe too! I usually use a recipe that I got from my friend's mom back in high school. Not sure why I tried something new this year, but, I'm with you...I tried refrigerating, then softening and it never did get the right consistency. I'll stick with the standby for next weekend's baking extravaganza.

I also decided to use her royal icing recipe, which I made and didn't use. Brook is very particular about his icing and this was more for decorating than indulging. And these cookies were specifically for the latter.

f. pea said...

This post made me so happy! I love the photo of the boys cutting cookies with pretty decorations in the background. So warm and fuzzy!

Kellee said...

Ohhhh, and here comes my achy uterus looking at your lovely family all in the spirit. How fun!