I know I’ve mentioned in previous entries that one thing I don’t like about Christmas is the fact that both of my mom’s parents passed away during the Christmas season–In fact, 2 years ago, my grandfather died around 10 a.m. Christmas morning. I made it a point to go home to Ohio last year for Christmas…I told people out here that I thought my mom might need extra family around her, but in reality, it was me that needed my family. This year, I’ve been fighting my SAD, which has been compounded by the fact that we decided not to travel at all, save our weekend in Omaha, and the couple of day trips to Inwood, to visit Jay’s grandma & extended family. While my dad came to visit back in May, it’s now been over a year since I’ve seen my sister Kendra, my mom, my best friend Barbee, and it’s been over 3 years since I’ve seen my sister Shelley–I do believe the last time I saw her was when I was pregnant with the bambino.
And while I’m lucky to have in-laws with whom I get along, it’s hard because even after 6 years, I still sometimes feel all alone. However, while I don’t intend to lie to him, I prefer to hide some of this sadness from the bambino, because he’s a happy-go-lucky little boy, and the weight of the world will eventually crush his little spirit anyway. I don’t need to hasten that process.
Believe it or not, I’m actually somewhat excited for Christmas this year. I’ve still got to wrap presents after the bambino goes to bed tonight, because quite frankly, I don’t trust the little bugger not to get into them! And I decided about a week ago that I wanted to bake and decorate cookies with him–Another tradition I wanted to start. I used Dana’s aunt’s recipe, which was simple (although I once again forgot the limitations of my hand mixer, and tried to mix the dough longer than I should’ve):
I got them from the Secret Santa exchange I participated in last year. I think I need more cookie cutters in general.
They are delicious. I went a little overboard with my food coloring:
The bambino had fun, even though I did almost all the decorating:
I settled on our meal tonight–A 3-Way, because I need a taste of home.
The Christmas right before I had the bambino, when I was hugely pregnant, my mother-in-law very kindly offered to make Cincinnati-style chili for me, and I thought this year it’d be something fun to start doing any year we’re home for Christmas. My mom’s meal (whenever my ‘brother’ Justin is home, which isn’t too often, as he & his wife live in Germany) is spaghetti & meatballs, although I know this year, she’s doing Maple-Glazed Pork.
I didn’t realize when I shot this picture that I was using one of my old Reds cups, so it’s almost a fully Cincinnati-themed meal. The only thing that would’ve capped it off perfectly would be to have had some Graeter’s Peanut Butter Chip for dessert. UDF Chocolate Chip would’ve been good too.