Holiday Hustle

My mother called this morning: some new drama with my sister, my father kept calling and texting, she needed to bake a billion cookies, and, of course, wrap infinite presents. In the midst of cookbooks and lists of gifts myself, I sympathized. Still, we managed to cheer each other up. 

Holidays bring a spirit of renewal, forgiveness, and warmth. I love putting on an old yuletide album and decking the halls-- well, the kitchen, living room, etc.-- with my favorite decorations.

Relaxing on the sofa, basking in the glow of the stove, cuddled up with a hot mug of mulled wine and a cookie, I'm eternally grateful. But the darkest days of the year also bring stress, anxiety, and depression. These gifts keep on taking-- for some more than others.

My remedy always involves staying as busy as humanly possible-- maybe not the healthiest, but effective (for me). With a thousand responsibilities, organization helps. So I (try to) organize. Today I broke out the cookbooks, planned the meal preparations, and wrote out my extended holiday shopping list. This is the holiday hustle and tomorrow is the big baking day.



Baking equals pure bliss for me. Putting bread in the oven or whipping up a batch of cookies means total focus on the task at hand. The fruits of this labor-- still warm and shared with the people I love-- make the ache in my feet or back melt away with satisfaction. I did this. What I created and shared brought a moment of joy. Few other pursuits boast as much.

Baking, I love. Preparing to bake, not so much. Preparing for a big bake means waking up early, dashing through the parking lots and country backroads, and finding all the ingredients for three kinds of cookies, two kinds of scones, biscotti, gingerbread cake, clotted cream, brandy butter, granola, and mince pies-- all vegan. 


Stay strong. Find your remedies. In the meantime, I advise eating a few cookies while ignoring (or commiserating) with family members. For me, I'll be staying busy spreading cheer-- or sharing cookies, which is essentially the same thing. 

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