Sunday, January 09, 2011

Merry Stress-free Christmas!

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas! I am going to write myself an ecard and date it for december of 2011 to remind myself of how I was feeling THIS Christmas. What are we all doing?? We are making ourselves needlessly crazy, overworked and certainly Broke! I feel like I already have REALLy cut back on the materialism of Christmas over the years but we need to stop even the little bit of silly spending and needless shopping and craziness that we are doing. A few days after Christmas I was in Kohls department store, NOT returning thankfully, but checking if my sons favorite jeans were finally in stock. The amount of Miserable looking people that I saw waiting on the ridiculously long return line, feeling overheated in their winter coats and boggled down with bags of Unwanted gifts made my heart drop! I thought of the gift givers who were in the Same long line feeling the same stress BEFORE Christmas while buying these items. All that time, effort, money....What is it all for?
Jesus?? I don't think he would care for this! Love? Thoughtfulness?? I stopped and thought about the gifts I received this year and years past that were my absolute favorites...

A few days before Christmas, my middle son was telling his sweet girlfriend about HOW delicious my traditional 'ballie' cookies are and how much she will love them. I overheard him explaining how it's become a tradition to eat these as we open our gifts Christmas morning. I felt so bad to inform him that this year with HOW crazy work and getting ready for Christmas was, I wasn't going to get the time to make them! He looked so upset! Meanwhile, this was all said, only a few minutes after they were racking their brains to think of WhAT to get my husband and I for Christmas. I kept saying ..'Don't spend money! we don't need anything".... So then it dawned on me.. I said..
do you both want to get me the absolute BEST gift?? Make the ballie cookies!!! I'll give you the recipe! ( and I'll give it to you at the end of this rant) So his girlfriend said... Oh, we can do that and then i can buy you a beautiful dish or tin to put them in!!! I said..
Honey, I have too many freaking dishes too many freaking tins!! JUST MAKE THE COOKIES!!!
Well.. they did!! and they were more beautiful than mine (which I usually rush through!) and they were delicious and allowed us our tradition!

The same thing happened with my eldest son,
Like last year, on Christmas eve day, he spent 3 hours in his apartment making two huge trays of his DELICIOUS eggplant parm. for our company. Afterwards, as he put his wrapped gifts under our tree he said... Mom, I didn't know what to get you this year, and picked something stupid. I said.. Sweetheart... you didn't need to get anything.. you just gave me the greatest gift in the world! Your Eggplant!!! Your talent!!! and I truly mean it! These WERE my best two gifts!
I know this is far from a NEW concept, most of us do a little of this. But, Compared to what we usually do at Christmas, wouldn't it just be a walk in the park and SO meaningful if we ONLY give gifts of ourselves next year? cooking, baking, knitting, painting, babysitting, crafts... whatever your talent or ability. Give of yourself. No wrapping necessary! Make it last all year, with notes like... I owe you a day of babysitting each month in 2011! From my husband, I'd like a note that says... 'I gift you an hour foot rub each week!" what do you think??
No return lines to torture your loved ones with! What better way to show them how much they mean to you? I would love to hear from those of you who HAVE already adopted this tradition!
enlighten us with any ideas you have! Happy Healthy 2011 blog buddies! xox

Lucy's BALLIE COOKIES

INGRED:

1 CUP SUGAR

2 ½ TSP VANILLA

6 EGGS

½ LB. BUTTER ( MELTED AND COOLED)

6 TSP. BAKING POWDER

4 ½ CUPS OF FLOUR

IN LARGE BOWL MELT BUTTER AND COOL, THEN ADD EGGS, VANILLA AND BEAT WELL ( BY HAND) ADD SUGAR BEAT AGAIN

THEN SLOWLY ADD FLOUR AND BAKING POWDER.. MIX WELL.

ROLL INTO SMALL BALLS ( THE SIZE OF HONEY BALLS) PUT ON UNGREASED COOKIE SHEET. BAKE AT 350 FOR APPROX. 6-8 MIN.

UNTIL LIGHTLY BROWN ON BOTTOM

LET COOL DIP IN GLAZE ( OR COLORED GLAZE) AND ADD SPRINKLES

GLAZE RECIPE

1 CUP CONFECTIONERS SUGAR

½ TSP. VANILLA

2 TBSP. MILK

BEAT WELL WITH MIXER

8 comments:

Lilibeth said...

There's only truth in what you say. Spending so much money and stress is a good way to mess up the holiday and certainly not a way to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Tracey said...

that was beautiful and so, so, true. the stress of the Holiday takes the joy away. "Real" gifts are, literally, priceless :-)

Giggles said...

What a touching post invoking tears. So true. Gifts of time, attention, and help are sincerely the best as you age. We scaled back this year not exchanging gifts. Instead we gave to charity, and to those needing to be acknowledged most. It was way less stress. However we made a concentrated effort to connect with family and friends several times! Life was more full of spirit this year than past Christmases. Many people scaled back only gifting to children. We were practical in our choices and nothing went back. Lucy you are right on the money about doing for each other and connecting. It puts the spirit back into Christmas. Buying for the sake of gifting is insane. We were busy all season but in a good way. One of our best days was going to a local restaurant with friends for dinner, then to Burlesque, and after the movie playing Christmas carols as we drove the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights!! It sincerely was a great Christmas full of love and joy!
Happy New year dear friend. Hope you write with some regularity this year! Love and miss you!

Hugs Giggles

Giggles said...

Oh and I'm going to make those yummy cookies... you have to read how my cookies were ruined last Christmas because I wrote the recipe out wrong on my blog....my bad!!! lol

keiths ramblings said...

This Christmas my daughter and her partner were strapped for cash. You know what they did? They got into the kitchen and spent days baking sweet and savoury delights for the whole family, then wrapped and labelled them and put them in beautifully decorated home made boxes.Fabulous!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

People need to remember that cooking and baking take time and money so they certainly are nice gifts

Lucy said...

thanks everyone!
giving gifts to charity is a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas giggles! Sounds like you had a beautiful Christmas!
Keith... I Love that your daughter baked her gifts!
and Like you said Queen... Those are priceless! way more thoughtful than buying!
Even though it's time consuming to make crafts and bake... we can utilize the time spent by getting the whole family involved, creating special times in the process! :))

oldegg said...

A few years ago our family decided that 50c presents would be appropriate and more fun. OK we might have to make it a dollar now! But it was amazing what fun presents could bought for that paltry sum.

I like the idea of giving your talents. Perhaps we could introduce that in our family too.