Thanks to Williams-Sonoma, Gilly Hicks & Ecko Unlimited, I'm just about done with all my Christmas shopping, but I still have a few "big ticket" gifts to buy. . .The Rents, The Help, and D2.
The Rents are a conundrum. What can you get people who don't really have room for anything else (other than jewelry, clothing, or another iPad)? The electric roaster I bought them last year is still in the original box, never unpacked.
The Help is another problem. What do you get for someone who buys WHAT they want WHEN they want? The Help has extremely high consumer standards, thus further complicating things. Harumphfffff.
D2 might be the easiest of the bunch, although hundreds of dollars worth of toys have no place in her room. Any technology gift which D1 doesn't own will likely end up being hijacked by D1. D2 enjoys DOING crafts but doesn't enjoy CLEANING up craft work. Maybe she isn't as easy as I thought.
D1 wasn't mentioned because last year, The Rents and I bought her a new smartphone and data package, which was supposed to serve as birthday and Christmas gifts for a 2-year period. Unfortunately, I think The Rents are gonna cave and buy her gifts this year (year 2) because I overheard the missus asking her what she wanted for her birthday.
Once I get my gift buying/wrapping completed, I'm going to begin my cooking. There is nothing that signals the start of the holiday season like the smell of ginger cookies. Mmmmmm. When I bake ginger cookies, the wonderful aroma of Christmas permeates the entire house (not unlike the aroma or tea eggs simmering on the stove at Chinese New Year), and its hard not to feel festive.
click recipe title for printable recipe
3/4 c vegetable shortening
1 c sugar
1/4 c molasses
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c Maui gold coarse sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line airbake cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and molasses. Add flour mixture. Using a #60 (2 tsp) disher, portion dough and roll sparingly in Maui gold coarse sugar. Place 2" apart on prepared cookie sheets (15 per sheet). Bake 15 minutes. Cool for a minute before attempting to remove to cooling racks. Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.
Maui Gold sugar is available at most stores in Hawaii. The coarse, golden crystals add extra crunch to these treats.
Before I sign off, I want to say that the Kikukat household got our tree fairly early this year. We got it from Home Depot, and I can only keep my fingers crossed that it won't turn brown before Christmas. It was my turn to choose the theme this year, but I was somewhat limited by the fact that D1 used a few strands of gold lights to decorate her bedroom. It was either the red lights with white cord or the colored lights. Since I didn't order a flocked tree from KTA, I had to go with the colored lights. I decided that since my energy level (thanks to work for sapping what little life-blood I had left) was low, I'd spring for no-fuss tree decorations (in my mind, hanging ornaments = plenty fuss). I bought silk poinsettias, cut them apart and stuck the picks in between the branches. I splurged on a couple dozen clip-on gold butterflies and dragonflies. The lazy-style decorating didn't bother me half as much as something else. . .can you guess? Thankfully, The Help fixed it, and we redistributed the decorations so it looks much better. Now if I could only get the Ds to pick up the mess on the barstool in the background!