Tag Archives: christmas

Finished Just in Time

Whew. It is 3:15 PM on Christmas Eve and the nephew and niece socks are done and wrapped. Apologies for lack of photos, but I was on a roll, what with the finishing and weaving in, that I just jumped right into the wrapping and never got the camera out. Maybe tomorrow I will photograph the socks during the unwrapping.

In addition to the socks I’ve finally finished wrapping all the other gifts, baked a tray of candy cane peppermint brownies (yum), hand washed three sweaters and finished a full load of laundry. All that’s left is to make a salad to bring to dinner tonight at my sister’s and I’m done. Jeff is probably right when he says why bring salad, no one ever eats it anyway. But I was asked to bring salad and bring a salad I will. Salad and peppermint brownies. (Yum).

Merry Merry Happy Happy. God Bless.

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Go Elf Yourself!

I should be wrapping gifts and finishing up the last pair of nephew socks. Instead I am doing this.

And, despite photographic evidence to the contrary, Jeff does not have a giant melon head and Max really is a good dog.

Happy Holidays!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

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The More Things Change…

1968, sitting beneath my Grandmother’s Christmas tree, it really doesn’t seem that long ago. And believe it or not, I remember wearing those snazzy red shoes. Even at age two, I knew a cool pair of shoes when I saw them.

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Cookies, Luncheon, and Crustaceon!

Another holiday season brings another office Cookie Swap! Over the six years I’ve worked at this company the delicious-ness of the cookies has remained top notch, but I will say I’ve seen the packaging and presentations improve greatly. Everyone is so creative and talented. Can you say Martha Stewart??

This year’s cookies included:

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Stained Glass Cookies
Spice Crackle Cookies
Biscotti
Chocolate Mint Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Yummy)

All were delicious and very festive. And to add to the fun, immediately following the Cookie Swap, we all headed off to a local restaurant for the company sponsored Holiday Luncheon. Perfect timing, because the smartest folks agree, it is always best to eat your cookies before you eat your lunch!

The luncheon was followed by the traditional Yankee Swap. (It was a full day of swapping, dontcha know?)

I think I’ve mentioned before, my coworkers are a pretty mellow bunch. The annual $10 limit Yankee Swap gifts are always very nice and cheery, but sometimes a little, well, how do I say this….they can be sort of dull. You know what I mean, a Dunkin Donuts gift card or a reindeer mug with hot chocolate mix. Nice, but not all that F-U-N.

All that changed this year, when Ms. C chose the plainly wrapped shoe box from under the tree. She held it up, gave it a little shake, started to carefully remove the wrapping paper, and then yelled, “It’s ALIVE”!!!!

That is when we all noticed the antennae peeking from under the tissue paper.

Photo altered to protect the innocent.

We all had a great laugh and a fun afternoon. And I suspect Ms. C will have a tasty lobster salad for dinner this evening.

Happy Holidays!

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The Cookie Swap

My office is a pretty low-key place. You’ll find no secret workplace romances, no one from accounting wearing a lampshade at the holiday party, and no x-rated copies being made on the new color copier.

What you will find is a bunch of ladies who really get into the annual cookie swap. We spend the weekend before mixing, sifting, baking and wrapping. The day of we drink too much hot, very sweet (non-alcoholic) cider and eat way too many baked goods.

Spiced Crackle Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies
Prep: 20 minutes. Refrigerate: 1 hour
Bake at 350° for 12 minutes

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 cup all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and molasses on medium speed until blended. Beat in egg until blended, scraping down side of bowl. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and white pepper in clean bowl. Add to butter mixture; beat on low speed until blended. Stir in crystallized ginger. Cover; refrigerate one hour.

Heat oven to 350°. Lightly coat 2 large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Place confectioners’ sugar in bowl. Dust hand lightly with flour. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Immediately roll each ball in confectioners’ sugar to completely coat. Place on prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until cookies have expanded and flattened; the tops will be covered in cracks. Transfer to wire racks. Cool completely.

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Pictures Pending

Updated, with pictures…
Tree…check
Kid sock yarn…check
Pictures…blogger, we have a problem.

Believe me, I’ve taken the photos, but beta.blogger seems to be suffering some malady and the nice toolbar with the ‘insert picture’ icon has gone AWOL. Hopefully, it will return soon, so I can share my thrilling photos with the world.

Speaking of photos, did I tell you that when we were in Florence I ruined by Kodak Easy Share Dock? Before we left for the trip, Jeff and I stopped at Brookstone to buy a voltage converter that would allow him to charge is iPod and me to charge my cheap, but nonetheless reliable Kodak digital camera while we were on the road. Those Brookstone salespeople are so aggressive. Can I help you?!!! What can I show you??? We managed to survive the attack and find the voltage converters without stumbling and landing into one of those vibrating massaging chairs.

Once in Florence, we dicussed (argued) about how the universal converter actually worked. Finally, we plugged it into a funny italian socket, which has the vertical plug openings instead of horizontal. Those crazy Italians.

Actually, we didn’t just “plug it in”. Jeff had to do some major finagling (is that a word?) balancing and maneuvering the plug to stabilize it in the outlet. After about 15 minutes of electrical acrobatics, the converter was in place and the Easy Share dock was connected. Then we fell asleep. (It had been a busy day filled with much walking and museum-going. And wine. And gelato.)

Ten minutes later Jeff woke with a start, jumped off the IKEA-like, low to the ground italian bed and sprinted to the outlet. Little wisps of white smoke puffed into the air. The acrid smell of burning electrical wires filled the room. The Brookstone converter was in fact, JUNK, and my Easy Share Dock was toast.

Now, to show you my yarn, I must attach two wires, first to the camera, then to the computer and to the power source. I’m shocked that it works.

Hopefully, when blogger is fixed I can show you pictures. Until then, rest assured, my weekend plans are right on course.

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Hoping for Inspiration

Don’t you just love Friday? I plan to catch up with family, put up the Christmas tree, and continue knitting socks.

This jumble of knitted goodness will eventually become gifts for some special kids in my life. These first three pairs are for the older niece and nephews, all between 10 and 14, so the colors are fairly routine. They look a bit bright here, but believe me, the are much more muted in “real life”.

The remaining yet to be knit pairs are for three handsome nephews, all between the ages of 3 and 6. I’d like to use some bright and cheery “kid” colors, but haven’t been inspired by what’s in my stash…yet. Hopefully this weekend I’ll find just the right color combinations.

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