‘Tis the season

‘TIS THE SEASON for primo parking at Metro lots on Fridays. Lots of folks work alternative schedules that are arranged to keep them from commuting on Friday (lucky dogs), but this time of year, even more people are off work, burning vacation days they might otherwise forfeit as the year rolls over. I have been a full-time working person with benefits for over 27 years and have never once been in a position where I had more vacation days to use than I knew what to do with. What is that like? I hope one day to know.

‘TIS THE SEASON for snow in the weather forecast. This means two things: One, I miss my Jeep. The Jetta is fun to drive, but I can’t lie, I miss 4WD. And Two, now begins the frantic search for mittens and gloves (pairs, that match), scarves, hats, and boots. Did I not put them all in the designated basket when winter ended? I was sure I did. Oh, and I need to find the ice scraper for the car, too. Ho ho ho.

‘TIS THE SEASON for college kids to be taking finals! I remember the feeling. Seth has all three of his next Monday; Ross has his spread out over the week next week. Related: it’s also time to return the textbook rentals. And to register for next semester.

‘TIS THE SEASON for my annual declaration, HOMEMADE GIFTS FOR EVERYONE!, which is followed shortly thereafter by my other annual declaration, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING. Here’s hoping they feel the love in each carefully mail-ordered gift that will be hastily stuffed into a gift bag on December 24.

‘TIS THE SEASON for hour-long hold times and newly-hired seasonal temps receiving a “baptism by fire” during my “where is the rest of my refund?” call, and a still-incorrect refund from Macy’s. It was obvious the guy was a rookie, which is fine, and I had time to hold, but I would also have expected his team lead, whom he kept telling me he was “partnering with”, to correct my refund. I returned 4 things and, so far, have been refunded for two of them. Alas.

‘TIS THE SEASON to deck the halls. This year, I’m decking mine with new traditions, as it’s my first Christmas in my new place. I got a new fake tree, and I like it. We hung those pine-scented sticks on it so the house smells like fake evergreen. Last night, the boys and I hung old ornaments on it. That was mostly OK, but frankly, it kind of made me melancholy. But, it felt like the right thing to do. I put candles in my windows, just like before, but am happy I don’t have to drape greenery on my split rail fences (one year I went full Martha Stewart and fashioned garlands and wreaths from real greens!) and have the annual disagreement over whether the lights on the house should be all white (my preference) or multi-colored (the kids’ preference).

‘TIS THE SEASON for busy-ness, but also for good cheer and hugs and smiles and for being thankful and grateful for so many things.

 

Meg’s Mom’s Sand Tart Cookies

Bumping this seasonal recipe to the top! It’s cookie baking season!

My Grandmas' Recipes

My mom has made these thin, crispy cut-outs at Christmas for as long as I can remember. The same treats could be found at both Grandma Sara and Grandma Losch’s homes in December each year. When I married, I discovered that my mother-in-law also makes the same recipe each year! Must be a Pennsylvania thing.

Make the dough ahead of time, and you might as well go ahead and make two batches because once you bake them, these cookies go fast. In fact, the trick with these is really in the hiding: The earlier in December you bake them, the better you have to hide them from the children and men (mostly, the men).

These are a lot of work, what with all the rolling, cutting, decorating (andhiding), and they bake fast, so once you start putting them in the oven, you’re going to get a good…

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I didn’t know I needed this

THE INTERNET GODS sent me this ad:

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It’s not just an ironing board, it’s an ironing system. A whole *system*! For pressing clothes! And it’s on sale for just $1,999! And it ships free!

They’re practically paying you to take it.

The product description begins:

Whether you’re ironing table linens or removing wrinkles from a cocktail dress…

OK, hold up. If you are the owner of a $2,000 ironing system, you probably aren’t ironing your own table linens. You’re sending them out, or you’re having the housekeeper do it. I can see maybe touching up one’s own cocktail dress, say if you forgot to ask your housekeeper to do that for you before she left for the evening. Or maybe if you can’t decide what to wear to that charity gala tonight and have searched the dark recesses of your second walk-in closet (the one with all your fancy clothes in it) and dig out something you haven’t worn a couple of years. It might have wrinkles that need removing. And in that case, you would be really happy this system is still set up in the laundry room. From when the housekeeper was ironing the cloth napkins. That is, if you can figure out how to use it:

This easy-to-use ironing system features an LCD display with user-friendly navigation.

In my experience, “easy-to-use” and “user-friendly” are code words for “plan on 20 minutes to view YouTube tutorials.” I can barely program my coffee maker to brew at some future time. If my ironing system has “navigation” it’s probably too complicated for me.

I know what you’re thinking: Will the B3312 model will deliver everything I want and need in an ironing system? Fear not: The manufacturer also offers the B3847 system for just $500 more. Because spending $2,499 on a glorified ironing board seems normal.

If ironing is your jam – or you are, say, a professional seamstress – an investment in a device such as this might make sense for you. But for the rest of us – those of us who even still *do* iron – isn’t a regular old ironing board and mid-level iron enough to successfully do most household jobs? For money like that, you could buy a whole lot of professional dry cleaning. Or, a couple of really nice new cocktail dresses. Even ones that aren’t on sale. And have cash leftover to bid on the silent auction items at that charity gala.

For more things you never knew you needed, here’s a link to that time I went to Williams-Sonoma and analyzed their Thanksgiving table display.