The elves arrived really late this year, as if they sensed my indecision and thought it best to leave me alone for a while, while mulling which holiday cookies to settle on, before coming to help. When they did arrive, huffing and puffing and more harried than me, we quickly set to work.
The older I get, the longer it takes me to get into the holiday spirit, whatever that might mean. This year I had decided to attempt a stress free holiday, a misnomer in my case as I will work until Christmas’ Eve and not much of the holiday comes my way.
My gift giving list is ultra short and limited to work related people – I made a pact with my closest friends and family that exchanging gifts was, at this point in life, superfluous. I don’t need another scarf. Tree and Hanukkah candles were finally purchased last Sunday, although the decorations are still in the garage and the menorah hasn’t been dusted. I was running out of time but I wasn’t stressing about it.
But the holiday cookie tradition that I started years ago needed to be honored. The problem was I just couldn’t make up what to make. I poured over recipes collected over the years, books, websites and then I settled for a mix of tried and true and something a bit more adventurous: hazelnut linzer cookies with raspberry jam or Nutella (for the chocolate addicts), thumb prints with dark chocolate and fleur de sel and coffee truffles.
By the time the elves and I finished, the counters were covered in powder sugar and the kitchen smelled heavenly. Ottie woke up from his nap to bid the elves goodbye and I waved, solemnly promising next year they will find me more organized.