Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Year End Happy Ever After

My family revolves around food in some way or another. We either cook it, serve it, or manage it. Oh, and yeah, we eat it. Most of our family get togethers revolve around buffets put on by professionals or ourselves.

The holidays are no different. Ok, they are. There is more food. Every year we toss new dishes in with the traditional. Some of this stems from those on special diets and some, like me, like trying new recipes.

Our Christmas tradition is a breakfast brunch: sausage gravy with biscuits, scrambled eggs, sausage links, ham, goose, quiches waffles, and pancakes. Afterwards, we exchange gifts, which are often more handmade items then store bought. I just love it. Then all the goodies are set out. It’s amazing to see all the different desserts, brownies, fudge, brittles and cookies. Most are homemade and a bit different from anyone else’s. Thirty-two years ago, I had no idea that I was marrying into the coolest family ever. That was the beginning of one of my happy ever afters.

Yeah, so, I’m getting mushy. I do that a lot these days.

After weeks of looking over recipes and throwing ideas around, my son, Jesse, and I have decided to add the following to our traditional list of goodie trays, which consist of chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and sugar cookies.

Pineapple Bars
Apple Bars
Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Granola Cereal Bars

Granola Bars II
Iced Orange Cookies
Banana Spice Cookies
Layered Peppermint Bark – never done bark before

All of them can be found at – our family’s favorite site. Unless I rewrite the directions, it’s not legal to repost the recipes.

I began doing this long before any of the boys were old enough to know why I spent December 12-14 baking from early morning to midnight, then scurry around on the 15th to get no less than 120 dozen cookies and specialty items shipped back home to family and friends. Then we’d deliver platters locally the week of Christmas. They loved this part of the deal. My guys loved visiting.

I like making people feel loved, appreciated and put a smile on their face all year long, but his time of the year it seems so much easier to make it happen. So much in this world is a real downer, that this time of year, it’s wonderful to see more smiles and hear more laughter. If I can do that for someone, then maybe they’ll do it for someone and we’ll have a chain of happiness circling around the world and one day it will overcome all that is wrong.

Let the spirit of the season become contagious so it’s not only the brightest star of December.

My favorite part of Christmas is sitting here with a cup of coffee and watching my kids. It’s the one time of year they don’t mind indulging me. I love watching them rip the paper away and mouths fall open when they see it’s something they really did want. I always ask for a list and often throughout the year, they’ve asked for something then forgot about it. Or they may not have put it on the list because they were concerned about the cost. I love their surprise. And yeah, I reap, too. I don’t mind being smothered with hugs and excited thank yous. Or see them immediately call up one of their friends to tell them what they got.

Christmas to me is so much more than buying and giving gifts. It’s the happy ending to the year. I wish it for everyone even though I know so many who are missing a loved one this Christmas. I hope they can let the sweet memories wrap around them and help them through it.

Merry Christmas!



Lindsay Townsend said...

Wonderful, Bekki! Your Christmas sounds a perfect, family, loving time.
Happy Christmas to you and yours and one and all.
Love Lindsay xx

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Lindsay. Merry Christmas to you all, too.

It's relaxing to get in the kitchen and create yummies.

The granola bars came out so wonderful, we're having a hard time staying out of them.

Jane Richardson, writer said...

All points ticked off over here, too, Bekki! That's my kind of Christmas - cooking, indulging, sharing food, laughing and most of all, watching the kids. Have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas - I'll be raising a glass to you, and look forward to us all cathcing up in 2010.

Jane x

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, Bekki, not only am I really hungry now... but a chain of happiness... how wonderful that would be!!!

A most blessed and happy Christmas!

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Jane and Savanna. I hope your day has been filled with love and joy.

We're winding down and ready for quiet time with our four-legged babies.

The goodies were a hit as was everything on the table, especially the pineaplle bars -- oh, my goodness -- I baked deboned pheasant to share at my dad's and it was gone so fast, I felt I could have fixed all I'd prepared for the three family deals going on and it wouldn't have been enough. That was a pleasurable gift for me. I used an Italian seasoned breading and water to prevent scorching of the edges.

My brother-in-law added roast beef to his tray of meats and wow - it was amazing.

Rain melted our little bit of snow, but snow is falling now -- we have a white Christmas after all.

Merry Christmas!

Savanna Kougar said...

Bekki, your Christmas day sounds wonderful.
We had a good layer of snow here and frigid temps.
With so much snow this year across the country, those kiddies must have been praying hard for a white Christmas.

Happy New Year!

Bekki Lynn said...

I know mine were, Savanna. So was I.

Normally, they tell us we're getting it, but then it goes all around us leaving a dusting. Not this time, we're getting it. It's beautiful, but the roads are slick.

Staying in and watching Sherlock Holmes movies - and of course writing.