While I've done a fair(ish) job of getting to most of the things I wanted to do this Christmas season, there are a few that I've either had to bump to the Next Christmas list (for the third or fourth year in a row) or get done today. Because I don't know if you were aware of this, but tomorrow is Christmas Eve, making today Christmas Eve Eve.
This means certain things aren't going to get done today that probably should have been done weeks ago. The floors aren't going to be cleaned. Certain family members won't be bathed. I'm counting on the scent of brown sugar and molasses to overpower any other slightly less desirable smells. Now aren't you sad you aren't coming to our house for Christmas?
I had promised the children weeks ago we'd make gingerbread houses before Christmas. Don't kid yourself: I'm not talking about those amazing creations some families are capable of making that feature tinted hard candy for windows and something else creative for roof shingles and the tears of the mother who stayed up half the night to make it all happen. These things aren't even going to be three-dimensional, because when it comes to baking, gravity is not my friend. Actually, when it comes to most things gravity is not my friend, as my heavily scarred knees can attest.
When we woke up this morning, I told our children we would be making the gingerbread houses sometime that morning- probably mid-morning. Before long that got pushed back to late morning. But definitely before lunch! Or, you know, maybe not- how about after lunch, pre-naps?
It is now naptime. The cookies have not been made.
Our kiddos are really good sports about this kind of thing, probably because it happens to them all.the.time. I once read an article that said something like, "The only consistent trait studies have been able to identify among the very old (those reaching an age of 100+ years) is the ability to accept change well, to roll with the punches." I like to think I am instilling this trait in our children by constantly pushing back or flat-out changing plans on them. It's a handy excuse, anyway.
I thought I actually had my act together today. I had found the recipe I wanted to use in one of our cookbooks. (Check!) I had found the frosting recipe I wanted for piping. (Way to go, me!) I had even checked beforehand to make sure we had all the proper ingredients. (Astonishing!)
But when looking over the recipe for gingerbread cookies this morning, I found that it didn't contain a single drop of molasses, and gingerbread cookies without molasses are dead to me. I was able to find a suitable recipe online- with molasses, thankyouverymuch- but the dough needed to be chilled for at least three hours before rolling out and baking. Children, prepare to roll with the punches! (I realize this isn't that big of a deal, okay? "Boohoo, I don't get to decorate and eat delicious Christmas cookies exactly when promised, but instead have to wait an extra six hours to do so!" It's a classic first-world problem. But just think: If I always had my act together our kids might actually begin to expect life to constantly go their way. We can't have that, now, can we?)
At this point, I have the dough prepared and chilling in the refrigerator, the frosting made, separated, and dyed different colors, and the dishes from all this is done. Honestly, I hardly recognize myself.
I think I'll take this opportunity to bathe the eldest of our smelly children and cut her hair.
Which I meant to do a full ten months ago.