What is that thing?! I don't know. A hanging Santa head? Some voodoo Santa doll? I'm not sure, but my mom has two of these hanging in our windowsills. When I was unpacking the boxes and I saw this (I had never seen it before) I literally shrieked a little. It is, I don't know it freaks me out... anyways onto what I really wanted to talk about.
Christmas is fast approaching. With that comes joy, laughter, family and friends, toboggan rides, warm cocoa by the fire place, and much more. However, with it it also brings anxiety, stress, anger (due to slow shoppers), and some more sad emotions.
Christmas is a time that once December 1st hits, you suddenly become overcome with joy. It's like your childhood has been brought back to life and no matter what happens nothing can take away the happiness.
The house becomes filled with beautiful scents from the spices in the gingerbread and molasses cookies, to the beautiful sugary smells from the sugar cookies, from the burning wood in the fire place, and the vanilla candles softly burning.
I love Christmas. My family isn't a very "family" oriented group. We don't really have family nights, or family days so when the holidays come it really is something special. We don't really have many traditions either... we used to, but since my parents split up it's a little more difficult to keep with those traditions when it's a nuisance to even pick which day to spend with which parent.
This year was the first year in many that we got a tree. Trust me that isn't my doing, every year I whine and stomp my feet to get a tree, this year my mom decided to finally get one. I went under the stairs in the basement and dug out all of our Christmas decorations. While my mom and her boyfriend were at the store, I brought everything upstairs. I started to hang the stockings, put decorations around the door, and started hanging the lights on the tree. I didn't go any further because I wanted to do it with people. In the mean time I headed over to the kitchen and decided to make some ginger molasses cookies.
By the time they were ready, they walked in. We started to decorate the tree and the house while eating some delicious out of the oven hot ginger molasses cookies.
Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies
Recipe taken from here
These are some of the best Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies I have ever tasted. It's not that the cookie was really any different than a regular molasses cookie, it's simply that it had crystallized ginger added such a beautiful texture to the cookie. It had a great spice and just added a little gummy to the cookie I loved it. These are perfectly crunchy with a great chewy interior. A great cookie to add to your Christmas tray!
On a side note... I put two different trays in the oven, same temperature, same amount of cookie time and got two different results in my cookies, if you look closely you could tell. Odd...
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup finely diced candied ginger, optional
- Sugar for rolling
Combine flour, baking soda, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, salt in a bowl and mix well.
Beat butter and sugar together in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
Add egg and molasses. Mix to combine well. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine well. Stir in candied ginger. Refrigerate batter 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Pour some granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Roll in granulated sugar and arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake in oven until set and crinkled on top, 12-15 minutes. Remove and cool.
When I was younger we used to buy these every Christmas in this small fat container. I used to munch those bad boys up like there was no tomorrow. When it wasn't Christmas, I could always head to the local grocery store and they had these cookie bins with those in them, wafers, maple cookies and others, however, they took those out :(.
This year I was realllllyy craving an old-fashioned favourite of mine and thought I would pick some up. It definitely made it feel like Christmas. I love the Christmas trees. They all taste exactly the same but my favourite goes from the tree, to the star, to the snowman, I don't know I'm weird. Just like with Smarties my favourite are the blue ones but they all taste the EXACT same.
Just for the fun of it, I thought I would two pictures of my cats lounging near the Christmas tree. This was the first day we put our tree up, and I guess they really felt the love to...
This year for Christmas my mom is thinking of heading to Niagara on the Lake. It should be interesting. Dressing up nice, taking a beautiful walk outside, perhaps taking a horse carriage ride, and eating at a fancy restaurant. But... it still saddens me that she wants to do this. It's a little more difficult since I only eat fish, brother doesn't like fish, mom doesn't like turkey, and her boyfriend is just kind of picky, so this is what it's come to? Really, I would settle on Chinese take-out and eating at home. Especially considering we have a tree this year I just want to be in the comfort of my own home.
I thought I would show you some pictures of my tree.
Notice the owl ornament? Is that not the cutest thing ever? At the beginning of December when I was at Jordan's house his mom surprised me with a gift. Yes, I opened my first gift in December, it was wrapped and everything. I seriously didn't know what to expect. When I opened the gift my eyes definitely lit up as bright as a Christmas tree. I looooooooove owls! They are one of my favourite animals, they're intelligent, beautiful and just such amazing creatures. Ooooh I was so excited. When Christmas is done, I will definitely be hanging these in my room!
I have a few more things to do before Christmas arrives:
- write some personal cards
- finish wrapping/buying two more gifts
- finish two or so more recipes
- finish gift tins
- enjoy the rest of the holidays!
I remember the first time I went was with my brother about four years ago. It was so hectic, there were line ups to get in stores, then there were line ups to pay for the items that you don't necessarily need. It just seems like a huge waste. Maybe it's the Scrooge in me, or maybe it's the fact that people are just ungrateful for the holidays and once it's gone they go back to their unhappy, greedy lives.
I love the feeling that this time of year brings. It makes me want to slow down and just smell the outdoors. It makes me want to sing Christmas music at the top of my lungs. It makes me jovial. I just love everything about it.
My favourite Christmas memory is from when I was about seven years old. My brother and I always woke up really really early to go check out what Santa had left for us in our stockings. This one particular year he had left us this electronic memory game. We were soooo excited to play with it, that we went into the basement and sneaked to play with it because it made a lot of noise. Once we were really tired and ready to go back to bed until it was time to open our gifts we sneaked upstairs. Being the oldest I decided to go first, with my brother following. I swept past the hamster cages, while Anthony ran right into his hamster Rocky's cage. Well, Rocky went flying, the cage came apart, and everything in the cage looked like it had been a hurricane all over the floor.
Needless to say we made a lot of noise... pop's woke up, and we had to clean it, but it was a great memory. It is that memory that I cherish above almost all of my Christmas memories.