Generally, PapaC and I do not exchange Christmas gifts. By the time we have gifted everyone else on our lists, there isn't enough money left to buy for one another. After the "year of the heart attack and surgeries", believe me we know that the true gift is that we have one another. I don't believe we will ever forget that!
Because I am also the Treasurer and Altar Guild Directress of my parish, Christmas is a busy time for me. When you add on a cookie exchange with a group of women I really like, the Christmas meeting of book group (with the attendant picking of books), and numerous other small things, sometimes our own Christmas preparation gets put aside, and we don't do the things we should do for ourselves.
This year was kind of like that. Oh, the tree was up and the snowman collection out, but no cards were done (and they never were!). Christmas Day dinner was in hand, but not many of the "treats" that we like to have.
One of those treats for me is a cookie recipe that my Aunt Sissie made all the years of my growing up. Orange slice cookies. They are my favorite. If I knew I were going to die soon and had to pick a last meal, they would be part of it. That's how favorite they are.
But they are a pain to make. The dough is thick, heavy and hard to mix. (And we don't own a stand mixer.) You have to cut up those candy orange slices into little pieces to add to the dough, and no matter what you do (and believe me, I've tried everything!) they stick to the scissors. The food chopper doesn't work. They gum together into a giant orange lump.
Let's just say this. PapaC groans when I talk about them. He hates making them that much.
I came home from a meeting the week before Christmas. Opened the fridge to get a glass of cold water. And what do you think was sitting there? Logs of cookie dough, wrapped in foil, chilling to slice and bake.
He had left my mom and dad's house early, come home and made up the cookie recipe, just so I could have the cookies I love.
The sweetest Christmas gift.
Oh, and on top of that? He also gave me this--he says he didn't--that Santa brought it--but I know the truth!