In 2008 I printed, in duplicate, what I thought a finalized draft of my novel Crazy String, which I spent over a year writing. With all my naive surety I mailed my manuscript to the multitudes, and in what seemed like an instant dream-come-true signed an exclusive contract with a NYC Fifth Ave big-shot editor. In the spirit of holiday days, I will simply state, that 18 months later, we parted ways, headed out opposite doors. Me deflated, contract not renewed, sans publisher, but multiple drafts deeper into story through blood, sweat, and tears. Life lesson 101: dreams can be fleeting.
Not sure what crazy fun you’re planning for your holiday weekend or week or day but my list is growing into a steady passion of joyful dreamy moments cascading in my mind as I drive back and forth to work. My biggest hope? Time to recover from the hustle and bustle. Time to not do anything that I have to. Now that sounds like a Happy Holiday!
From Oprah to your child’s daycare provider, one hears endlessly about the transformation power of gratitude. Today, on this uniquely American holiday, as many of us gather around long make-shift tables, headed by the matriarch or patriarch, perhaps a little one passed from lap to lap, the chatter, the delight, the joy of reunion, allows gratitude to flow easily. At least that is the idealized vision of Thanksgiving. For families splintered by the recent election, or still carrying an ancient grudge, the temptation might be to settle the score over the turkey, however, I hope, no matter where you are or who you are sharing your table with, I hope, you shift the conversation to love.
With two-carts of groceries, the grape juice, egg noodles, green beans and a thousand other items to feed 12 people for four days in addition to serving the Big Dinner, making beds of every sort in every possible nook, gathering extra blankets and towels and pillows, wrapping gifts and hanging festive lights, remembering both cranberry and stuffing recipes, lining the mantle and every table top with Santas galore, setting up the creche, first airport run, second, arranging for the third, lighting the tree star, rolling out the dough, baking pies and decorating sugar cookies, hanging the stockings, getting the turkey in the oven before noon, popping a few corks, conducting a proper Yankee swap with plenty of steals, giving the cheer, sharing our blessings, holding hands to voice our thanks before the feast, the walking talks and monster hike and ping-pong and even a new Star Wars! All done without our Shinning Christmas Star who would have loved this holiday; loved for those who came despite their sorrow, for those who came despite their inevitable travel snafus, and for those who brought extra cheer to fill the gap. Despite the long shadow, Christmas 2015 will be remembered for the best reasons.
Tis the Season to gather with those you love, and sing in this Holiday Season. From Nat King Cole to Bing Crosby to Mariah Carey, popular entertainers have added a new spin to every Christmas favorite. Start the evening off right by throwing on your favorite holiday CD, or break out your tattered piano tunes, regardless, make some holiday music during this festive weekend!
My suggestion: start with Joy to the World!
One week from tonight our house, and possibly yours, will be filled with loved family and friends. Best prep? Start baking! As true as these recipes were 4 years ago, they will prove equal to this year’s holiday crew. Make them with love and you will all be very merry indeed! With love, from my kitchen to yours, happy eating! xxoo
The Joy of Cooking is the hands-down best all-time cookbook to look through for all your traditional Holiday cookie recipes. Since it’s general publication in the 1930’s serious chefs, along side of everyday housewives, have all relied on its advice. Since the first edition, there have been several incarnations of this cookbook, but the following quoted advice and cookie recipes come from the 1975 publication.
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“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.