Every year, I have a magical dream of how our Christmas season is going to go.
It includes cozy holiday sweaters, a roaring fire in the fireplace, and a steady supply of hot cocoa.
My house will smell like baking cookies for the entire month of December.
All of my gifts will be wrapped perfectly, with a big, beautiful, matching bow tied on each of them.
Okay, so none of that ever happens.
Just like every year, I came crashing back to reality the other day when we put up our Christmas tree.
Real tree, of course. I need the smell.
In my holiday dreams, the decorating of our tree goes like this:
(In the background, my favorite Christmas songs are playing at just the right volume, and a fire is crackling in the fireplace.)
Son: Mom, I just love this Christmas sweater you got me. It’s so soft, perfect for holiday cuddling. Here, have another hug. I am definitely not embarrassed at showing affection to my sweet mother.
Stepdaughter: Thank goodness I’m not affected by the moodiness that plagues most girls my age. I am so happy and delighted to be spending time with my family! Who would like a refill on their hot cocoa? How about extra marshmallows?
Husband: Wow honey, did you know that the holidays make you look really skinny and fashionable? You should really eat a few more cookies, you totally deserve it.
Me: Oh my gosh you guys, you are so good at tree decorating. Look at how well placed all the ornaments are! And they are spaced out so evenly. I don’t have to move a single ornament! Let’s hold hands and sing Christmas carols!
Whole Family: Yay!! We are good at singing Christmas songs!!
In reality, the decorating of the tree goes like this:
(In the background, ESPN is playing)
Son: Don’t forget that it’s my year to put the star on top of the tree. Sis got to do it last year.
Stepdaughter: I think you put the star on the tree last year. Who’s turn is it to put the star on the tree? Is it my year? Who has had the most turns at putting the star on top of the tree?
Son: I think you’ve had seventeen star turns and I’ve only had one. Mom, why has sis gotten to put the star on the tree more times than me? That is not fair.
Son: Uh…why did that ornament break when I dropped it? Mom, I’m not trying to be rude, but maybe you need to start buying ornaments that don’t break. When is it gonna be time to put the star on?
Stepdaughter: Are you sure it’s his star turn?
Son: Is it time for the star yet?
Stepdaughter: Are you sure I got to do the star last year? I don’t really remember doing it.
Son: Can I pick the setting for the tree lights? I want the one where they blink really fast.
Stepdaughter: No, I’m picking. You picked last year.
Son: Hey look–I am hanging all my ornaments on the very edge of each branch. Because that is the best spot for breakable ornaments.
Husband: Where’s the remote, I can’t hear the TV.
Me: Okay, we are all out of ornaments, decorating time is over!
Son: But I still see ornaments in the box……
Me: Uh…nope….you must be seeing things. Now why don’t you guys go play so I can sit and look at the tree and definitely not move any of the ornaments around to make the tree more visually appealing.
I can dream, can’t I?
On a good note, my tree is beautiful, smells great, and I’ve adjusted the lights to blink that just the right speed.
Don’t tell my kid.
A couple weeks ago, someone mentioned Red Velvet Brownies in a comment they left, and I knew I had to try them. They just scream Christmas, don’t they?
They also scream fat free.
Okay, not really.
Let’s not talk about calories, okay?
**recipe from Southern Living
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 (1 oz) bottle red food coloring
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom and sides of a 9 inch square pan with foil and lightly grease or spray with nonstick spray.
Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 1 1/2 or 2 minutes, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking until just blended after every addition. Gently stir in the flour and next four ingredients. Pour mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 for 44 to 48 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.
Spread frosting on brownies and garnish with white chocolate curls or crushed peppermints, if desired.
Here’s hoping your holiday is full of carols and hot chocolate and free of broken ornaments.
Have a happy Monday!!
I’m linking these up to A Southern Fairytale’s Mouthwatering Monday…head on over and check out all the other mouthwatering goodies and link up one of your own!!