The Christmas season is usually one of my favorite times of the year. It’s not too cold out yet, and there is usually a light layer of fluffy white snow, covering all the ugly, brown plants. I love the cozy nights indoors, drinking hot chocolate, and watching Elf. It’s basically an introvert’s dream – I’m pretty much required to stop socializing and stay home.
This year is different. I mourned the loss of summer, and have not fully recovered yet. The only thing I’m fully embracing is Christmas lights. I didn’t even put up a tree this year. It just sounds exhausting. In my defense, the Christmas tree I normally put up is full size, and from 1986 (I live in a small, one bedroom apartment). It’s flocked and everything. I actually love it, as it was the tree I grew up decorating, but the idea of vacuuming up fake snow (and trying to keep the cats away) is overwhelming. So fuck it. I’m not decorating this year.
Also, presents are getting more and more difficult with the kids in my family. My twin nieces are now 3 1/2, and starting to notice the difference between what toys/colors/things are “for boys” and what are “for girls.” When I asked why they weren’t super heroes for Halloween, they proceeded to tell me that those are “boy” costumes. Sigh. I guess I need to pay even more attention to what I’m buying them as gifts. This year they are mostly getting books, all with strong female protagonists. They’re going to hate it, but maybe they’ll be grateful one day.
The struggle is real.
Speaking of my nieces – we all made frosting together last night for my nephew (who hated it). One of my nieces took it upon herself to make up for her brother’s lack of interest by shoving handfuls of frosting into her mouth with her bare hands. A girl after my own heart.
There are no rules when I babysit.
Another part of Christmas that I love is cookies. Cut-out cookies are cute, but a pain in the ass. Plus, they never taste very good. I opted to make plain sugar cookies this year, and I’m not sorry. They take all of 15 minutes to throw together, and are practically inhale-able. So. Fucking. Good.
I found this recipe on Baking Away, via Pinterest. It is going to live in my recipe book from now on.
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar + extra for coating cookies
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar together in a mixer, until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract – beat until smooth. Slowly add dry ingredients, with mixer on low. Roll about a tablespoon of dough at a time into balls, and coat with sugar. Place on cookie sheet, evenly spaced, and bake for 8-10 minutes. Let sit for a couple minutes to cool, and use spatula to place cookies onto a clean surface.
If you don’t eat at least 3 cookies worth of dough while making these, you’re doing it wrong.