December 15th, 2003



I have a clean house, and 12 dozen assorted cookies in my dining room! I really do love hosting a cookie exchange, even if I get a little frantic right before everyone starts coming over.

This year, I'd decided I'd "cheat" and get an already made veggie-platter at Safeway. Do you think they had any? Nope! So, here I am, as my guests start to arrive, hacking broccoli and slicing red peppers. Oh well, it all works.

12 people, each with 12 dozen (or equivalent amounts in cheesecake or fudge) cookies equals a lot of cookies! It's fun, though. Motivates everyone to bake (some of us, into the wee hours), and leaves you with a big variety.

After the exchange, John and I went with his Mom and Grandma to Bucca di Beppo's for yummy italian food (and enough leftovers for several lunches!). Home, collapsed on the couch and finish the 5th Season of M*A*S*H, then off to Target, to discover the fake tree John wanted was no longer available. So, I think we'll get a small real one.

My friends tease me that I don't have a tree up long enough to enjoy it, but I actually have it up far longer than my mother instilled in me. When I was little, Santa would bring (and deocrate) the tree on Christmas Eve, after I went to bed. As I got older, Dad and I would "help" Santa, by picking up the tree for him, but he still decorated it.

As an adult, I don't always wait until Christmas Eve to put up my tree, and it stays up longer than New Year's Day. New Year's Day tradition in my mother's house? The Rose Parade and taking down the tree. :)

I always leave mine up through Epiphany--and sometimes a little longer.

I bought the cutest little cedar trees at Ikea on Friday night. They're about 10 inches high, fit nicely into a 6 inch pot and look very cheery. All for $1.99! God Bless those Swedish merchandisers.

Okay, time to go pretend I really want to be at work today.
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