No recipe, just cheer.

I’m smack in the middle of the best holiday season I’ve had since my parents ran the entire production. It’s also been the most financially creative in light of my unpaid employment, and I think that may be why I’m having such a fantastic time. The base of our festive and economic Christmas is a combination of daily baking to cover most of our gifting, lights all over every coverable surface, and a running game of spot-the-yule with the elfiest fella ever. While Billy the Kid is vaguely aware that a fat man’s going to break in at some point and put toys in his big sock, he’s still free of stressful holiday expectations and checklists, and the seeming meaninglessness must make it even more magical to him.

Obviously, my main focus for the day itself is the dinner, as all grandparents and uncle will be coming to our house for the first Christmas. This presents a great crafting opportunity for me and my little glitterphile, and instead of table cards, we’ll be decorating and personalizing candles for the place settings. To do this, we’ll get 6 small candles with plain glass holders, and use double-sided tape to add ribbon, glitter, and a small name tag to each. We’re also working on homemade gift tags and couture wrapping (embellished construction paper, newspaper, scrap fabric).

Some may be starting to wonder what room I’ve left for “the true meaning of Christmas.” BK’s bedtime routine includes three songs: two standards (“You Are My Sunshine” and “Tommy Snooks”) and a floater (usually an Astrud Gilberto or Mazzy Star), the latter of which is substituted with alternating Silent Nights and Personent Hodies for the month of December. Grandma sent his first advent calendar, and BK is slowly catching on to the theme of waiting as he lobbies for and is denied multiple doors every night. As a content atheist, I consider that generous, as well as informatively sufficient for now. BK presently has his hands full wrapping his mind around Claus, as he calls him; I don’t think we need to complicate things with the concept of extra-special babies just yet.

Lest I appear callous, I should clarify that the nativity story always reduces me to a quiet tear, and even though I may not appreciate a literal interpretation, it really is a lovely idea. To anyone having a difficult time locating their Christmas spirit, I suggest you wind a string of lights around your biggest plant, bake some gingerbread, and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas (followed by Elf to help stop the weeping) with a wineglass full of slightly spiked nog.

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