One would think that I’d really be in the full swing of holiday spirit by now.
After all, I already spent a weekend baking Christmas cookies and other treats with my high school girlfriends —that was almost a month ago!
I got the outside Christmas decorations hung up early, taking advantage of the beautiful weather.
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks typing up and formatting recipes sent in by you readers for the Daily Globe’s Holiday Recipe Roundup section.
And then, last weekend, Hubby Bryan and I made our annual sojourn with friends to the Holidazzle Parade in downtown Minneapolis. That usually does the trick in getting me excited for Christmas. And for a brief moment, as I watched Santa make his way down the Nicollet Mall in his illuminated sleigh, my heart seemed to overflow with goodwill toward men and all the other sentiments that signal the onset of holiday joy.
But evidently that spark just hasn’t been fully ignited quite yet. Once I got back home and back at my desk, it all seemed to fade away. I just can’t muster up a full measure of enthusiasm for December’s festivities.
I’m sure the weather has something to do with it, although I’m not about to complain about the warm temps or the lack of snowfall. Except for our dire need for precipitation, I’d be happy if this weather held out throughout the winter. I highly doubt that a dusting of snow will magically make me feel like Christmas is on its way.
But I’m thinking that there’s one more preparatory activity that just might do the trick: Putting up the Christmas tree.
I thought about getting it out on the weekend after Thanksgiving, but was waylaid in that quest by Bryan. The tree, you see, impedes his view of the lake, so he prefers it be up for the shortest period of time possible. Last weekend was Holidazzle, and this weekend I have to work, so it’s not apt to happen again.
But I have a feeling that once those lights are twinkling in the front window and I can gaze upon the ornaments that hold so many wonderful memories, my Christmas spirit will resurface.
While I’m searching for my own supply of holiday joy, I know there are many of you out there who are fully immersed in holiday preparations, including baking up a sleigh full of treats for friends in family.
In my previous feature about baking with my high school chums, I shared the recipe for one of my favorite holiday cookies, Forgotten Kisses. But in preparation for that weekend, I also baked up this family favorite sugar cookie recipe. DotMom preferred this recipe to any other, and it was certainly Daddon’s favorite, too. Instead of cutting out cookies and decorating them, Mom used a smaller cookie cutter to press holiday imprints in the top of each cookie, with a dusting of red or green sugar on top.
Family Favorite Sugar Cookies
Cream 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup butter or margarine and 1 cup vegetable oil until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs.
Add 4 cups plus 4 heaping tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon soda and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, followed by 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well.
Roll dough in small balls (I use a cookie scoop for uniformity), place on cookie sheet and press down with a glass dipped in granulated sugar. Use a small cookie cutter to make a shallow imprint in top of cookie. Sprinkle with red or green sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until delicately browned.