Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Cheer

Since I shop for Christmas gifts throughout the year, I ususally miss out on the harried, breathless, merry gift-buying rush.  I used to love to go the the mall at Christmas (back in grad school, when I actually lived NEAR a mall) and just take it all in.  For an avid shopper like myself, it was bliss.  Holiday decor!  Christmas music! Discounts!

This year, however, shopping and malls and all things shiny and commercial became small and unimportant. In the wake of recent events, simpler, homier activities, (especially those involving plenty of snuggles with little ones) seemed in order.  Over the weekend, Ollie-dog and I tackled wreath-making and later we made gingerbread houses (yes, from scratch) with my nieces and nephews. It turned out to be a warm, cozy day, filled with love and kisses and small stockinged feet sliding up and down the hardwood floor after the dog -  perfect, and a lovely deep breath in the midst of incredible sadness.

Sorry for the horrible lighting - my kitchen is a little lacking in the illumination department.  To gather greenery, I just went out into the yard (one of the perks of living in rural Maine) and cut from fir and pine trees as well as my holly in the front garden.  I also gathered up bits of rhododendron Ollie had broken off during his romps around the yard.   Since I wasn't sure how it would look, I decided to do a '2-pass' approach (highly technical wreath-making term there...) instead of the more traditional 'take-a-bunch-and-wire-it-on'.  That way if it looked like crap, I could dissassemble easily.

Ollie approves, or thinks it is a snack.  

 Two passes did the trick.


Aaaand...on to the main event.  Having never made gingerbread before I had no idea how good it would make the house smell...

There may have been some structural integrity issues...nothing mass quantities of runny royal icing couldn't hide.  And they tasted really good!  


all photos, mine

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