Switching into High Gear

Most important order of business.

Be a Good Cookie Week was an epic success.  Between the treats baked by Kirsten, her brother Mr. Stonebender, Jeanne, Allison, Megan, Mads and a few donations from Kirsten’s friends, we raised $529.40 for pediatric cancer research through CFKC.

When I started baking with these wonderful ladies, I thought that it would be a good time.  That it would force me to hone a domestic life-skill.  I had no idea that we would be able to raise that much money by the sole virtue of baking for our blogs, organizing cookie exchanges with friends and co-workers, and bringing other people along for the ride.

If you’re still looking for a way to get involved, register your cookie exchange/bake sale with Glad and they will donate $0.10 per cookie exchanged or sold through the end of December for up to a total of $100,000.  It’s just that easy.

Second most important order of business.

Our department cookie exchange was today and one co-worker brought in a snack called Tijuana Tidbits.

It’s a delicious sweet and spicy trail mix incorporating tortilla chips, popcorn, mixed nuts, Crispix (does anyone actually eat them as cereal anymore?) and some sort of glaze.

Definitely not even remotely related to Tijuana.  At all.

But this could become a year-round snacky-stalwart.

As in, I had to force myself to put the bag down so that I could enjoy them once more tomorrow night.

It’s going to be glorious.

Tijuana Tidbits aside, Hanukkah started tonight.

And I’ve been asked by a fair number of friends and co-workers what the holiday entails for us.

My conversion date was a few days before Hanukkah.  So at the party my parents threw for me in 2009, I got menorahs.  And LOTS of candles for said menorahs.  Because unlike Christmas Trees, you don’t just have to choose one menorah and stick with it.  Oh, no.  When you are a Hanukkah-observer, you have many, many menorahs.

One can never have too many ritual objects, you know?

Since Hanukkah and Christmas fall over the same period of time this year, what that means from a practical standpoint is that Marcus and I will be celebrating non-stop (and with other people) from the 23rd – 28th.

Sometimes it will be Hanukkah-themed, sometimes it will be Christmas-themed.  Since Hanukkah is actually a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar and Jesus wasn’t actually born three days after the Winter Solstice, I feel pretty comfortable surrounding myself with as many family members and friends as possible during this time and rolling with it.

Since Marcus and I agreed not to exchange gifts this year (we’ve been extremely blessed), it’s the little things that will make this first married Hanukkah of ours special.

We will light the menorah every night (my parents have a few as well, so we really do have all of our bases covered), which is something we haven’t managed to achieve before.  On Thursday night, I’m actioning a classic risotto for dinner.  Not because it has anything to do with Hanukkah OR Christmas, but because Marcus has been requesting it for awhile.  I thought it would be nice to enjoy it together on the one night of the holiday that we’ll actually be alone for.

Who knows – maybe 10 years from now a festive Hanukkah risotto will be a tradition of ours.

In the meantime, there simply has to be some peace amidst the chaos.

What does your holiday schedule look like?

What are the quirky holiday meals/dishes that appear on your family’s table?


13 responses to “Switching into High Gear

  1. I will be driving 1100 miles, most of it between Friday and Sunday. Plus, Nick volunteered me to provide a lasagna for Christmas dinner with his extended family (who I’ve only met once, 18 months ago). No pressure!

  2. Working through Christmas eve (gotta love retail), midnight mass, Christmas dinner with my family and my boyfriends, then back to work by 7am on Monday morning to get ready for the returns and exchanges.

  3. A special year for us in our new home on the North Shore of Oahu. My folks are in town, and for once my husband does not have to work a night shift (Hospital MD.) I am so excited!
    We celebrate with our church, and then frolick as a family, most likely ending up at the beach…
    ENJOY the festivities!!
    Aloha, XO

  4. Like you, both of our parents live close by, so we will spend Christmas Eve/Christmas with both families. It used to feel like a drag because I felt we spent the holidays driving 15 minutes to one place, hanging out, leaving, driving 15 minutes the other direction, hanging, leaving. But, now, our parents are into joint celebrations. And, with Kate, I so appreciate having both sets of parents here, so we can all make traditions for Kate.

  5. Thanks for the link to the Tijuana Tidbits. I’ve been dying to know what this was since your first Tweet about it. Sounds like a perfect snack for Hoegarden next spring. We’re spending Christmas weekend with the kids. They’ll be driving in from Austin tomorrow (Thurs) and staying until Monday. I fully expect that our Christmas will be noisy and rowdy and messy – and I can’t wait! The Complete Package and I wish you and Marcus and your extended families a very happy Hanukkah and a merry Christmas.

  6. I love this cookie for charity idea and kudos to you for raising money for it!

    I also admire you for not exchanging gifts…we are also very fortunate so I told Ali I didn’t want anything for Christmas. Plus we are leaving on a trip on Dec. 26 and leaving Los Angeles is gift enough. What more can I ask for?

    Happy Hanukkah my friend!

  7. I lit my first Hanukkah candle last night with a big smile on face. That’s always such a happy moment. Any excuse for celebration is a good one in my book, regardless of denomination. Although somehow we ended up with non plans for the holidays this year…hopefully that will leave lots of time for relaxing!

  8. I am normally with my family in India this time of the year, so being here will feel a bit odd 🙂 We just came back from our vacation last week, so there will definitely be a lot of relaxing.

  9. Happy Hanukkah! I’m looking forward to seeing all my extended family this weekend. My dad’s side of the family, who we see on Christmas Eve, is absolutely crazy, so it’s always an entertaining night.

  10. Hi Kat! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! Good for you for raising so much money for a great cause! You are inspiring!

  11. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, Married Kat! I am impressed with how you balance the festivities in your life. Way to go. I think a festive risotto is a fine tradition to start for Hannukah’s to come. We will celebrate with many family & friends coming to us. Food, frolic, fun, and frivolity will ensue. Although, if we don’t get some snow soon, our annual Christmas Night Sled Races will have to be postponed.

  12. Happy Hanukkah to you! Hope your week is lovely with all of your parties.
    My favorite quirky holiday food is indian food on Christmas eve. Love it.

  13. My holiday schedule is actually not very hectic (for once)! We have both my and the bf’s family on Christmas Eve and then no obligations on actual Christmas. We’re going to spend a quiet time at home, I’ll cook, and if we do venture out, it will be to see a movie. I hope you have great holidays!

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