December Decisions

It recently came to my attention that my family intends to spend Christmas in Colorado, which makes sense.  Two of the five in question live there, and the other three know where to find good snow in December.  Unfortunately, my Colorado plans for the year don’t include December.

I was really sad about that at first.  My family is fun to be around, especially at Christmas.  My mom indulges my love of corny movies, my dad and I wear armadillo slippers on Christmas morning, and Santa still writes letters to me about how he’s trying to quit smoking or how it’s cheaper to outsource toy-making instead of using elves.  Definitely warms the heart of this girl.

I briefly considered forgetting about my planned trip to Colorado in September.  That made me more sad than missing Christmas, so back to the drawing board I went.  Then I remembered that there are these modern inventions called phones and postage (so cutting edge, that postage!).  Santa and I can still correspond.  My armadillo slippers are safely tucked away in my house, so that’s a go.  And I conquered the traditional Christmas stollen recipe last year.

Nothing to fear.  This year’s holiday season will be about getting to the post office in time to mail presents to Colorado, about celebrating the birth of Christ in my own lovely church, about enjoying my favorite canine friend, and about creating new traditions.  There will be gallons of warm apple cider consumed, an embarrassing number of Christmas movies watched, and possibly a mini adventure on Christmas day.  Feeling good about Christmas in Virginia, and now we return to our regularly scheduled program (also known as “It’s really hot outside!”).

Keeper of all things Christmas

I’m a pretty big fan of my family.  We all like a good laugh and a good book, even if our taste in humor and books is really different from one person to the next.  Bad puns also run in the family (thanks, Dad), so fair warning that those might accidentally sneak into posts.

The more applicable common thread is that we tend to be pretty relaxed about holidays.  There’s no pressure to kill yourself cooking for a week before holidays or to unload dozens of boxes of decorations.  Sometimes I think I should get a little bit more into those things, but most of the time I just sigh with relief and enjoy whatever I’m doing instead of being stressed.

We do have a few traditions, however.  One of them is to wear armadillo slippers on Christmas morning.  Very classy and very warm.  I highly recommend it!  Another is to eat German Christmas stollen for breakfast.  My mom and/or grandmother have faithfully baked stollen every year since I can remember, and it makes me ridiculously happy every year.  It’s semi-sweet bread with slivered almonds, raisins, candied citrus peel, candied cherries, and almond paste in the middle.  Mmm!  I know it sounds kind of odd, but taste a slice and then get back to me.

Various forces of nature have joined together to bring Christmas to my house this year, which makes my dog super happy.  Christmas in a kennel never seemed quite in the spirit of things to him.  It also means that the stollen torch was passed to me (can you feel the weight of responsibility?!).  That’s right.  In a family that only has a few holiday traditions, the food-related one was passed on to the family member who might delicately be called an “inexperienced” cook.

I’m proud to say that despite a few hiccups, I didn’t ruin the family Christmas.  Yesterday was the big baking day, and I have even supplied proof that I created four tasty crescents of stollen goodness.

Stollen

No, they aren’t supposed to have gaping seams along the edge like that, but I’m willing to accept a seam if the bread tastes good.  And yes, I did slice into one about five seconds after it came out of the oven.  Quality control, obviously.

There are a lot of tough things about becoming an adult.  Fortunately, this isn’t one of them.  I still get to enjoy the Christmas stollen on the big morning, and I have a whopping 3 loaves (or 2.5 now) left in my freezer.  If I were a little kid, I might just start dancing because of that!  And now that I have the recipe, I might even make another batch.  Making the world better one piece of candied fruit at a time since 2009.