A very wise friend once told me that "Stressed" is "Desserts" spelled backwards, so this week, while I haven't been writing any reviews, I have been relieving stress. I suppose I could have done a Weekend Cooking post about my assorted squash/praline pie that I made Monday night, but the whole point of stress reduction is to avoid doing what sounds like a "COULDA, SHOULDA, WOULDA". So I baked this gorgeous pie, and after hearing the government's report about the lack of nutrition in many of our breakfast foods, we've been enjoying it for breakfast. After all, it has vegetables, protein, and very little fat. And it's yummy. And I don't even have a picture to share. Oh yeah, did I mention the pain meds for the back and shoulder I threw out lifting a 20 pound turkey for Thanksgiving? Working great, but not good for motivating one to do too much work.
So....Sleigh bells, snowflakes, Santa....gift giving, parties, cookies, wrapping, ornaments, wreaths....trees, travel, friends and relatives. Our expectation of holidays often comes from a combination of Hallmark, Hollywood, and Home and can lead to depressing let-downs when others' expectations are different (or one's old bones are creaking).
Holidays can be especially challenging if travel and distance is involved. I think the older we get, the more we value our little creature comforts--we want our own bed, our own pillows, we like our own brand of coffee, and want to watch a specific late night news show (or sports event) while our hosts want to go to bed early and turn off the TV. We look forward to visiting with family, but also value our time here at home enjoying each other's company and the quiet that is life in the woods.
The stress of meeting everyone's holiday expectations can often make it seem like more effort is being expended than is needed. So this year, we're trying here in Tutuland to keep it simple. We're baking cookies to share with friends and family, we've put up a gorgeous wreath on the door and candles in the windows and we've gotten some gifts for the kids. We're going to go to "Grandma's" in Baltimore and share Christmas Eve with my three sisters, two kids and everyone's spouses and then spend a quiet Christmas day with G-ma. The favorite cat-sitter lady is lined up, the volunteer schedule is filled at the library and the town's tree is lit. So we can sneak out of town for a few days. Now we just need to find a good audio book for the trip down and back (actually can almost get in two - total of 24 hours on the road.)
Meantime, there are several other books I'm trying to finish, and several more that are complete BUT....as you may have noticed, my reviewing genes seem to have gone on vacation early this year. I will have at least five more reviews before the end of the year, and they're all great books, but I think when those are done I'm going to kick back, and just read without thinking about reviews for the rest of the year.
In the meantime, those cookies are certainly DESSERTS that are taking care of the STRESSED. What are you doing this year to keep holiday mayhem under control?