Then end of the year is close again, and I'm once again scouting the net for gingerbread recipes - something that doesn't include utterly straneg things I'll have no idea where to look at - and winter coats. Yes, I have one of my own, thank you very much, but it's already like... 3-4 years old? I want a new one, and this time, I'd really love a black one. Thus, have been scouting the net, searching in Macy's, JCPenny, but I can't seem to find what I want, not to mention that I'm afraid the coats won't be as thick as I want them to be... unless I buy, of course, a Michelin-like coat, and that I won't do. I'm seeking a solid, serious, black, wool winter coat, like the ones everybody has in Paris. Sure, if I were to pass by Paris nothing would be easier than to take a small detour into the city and buy myself the coat, but since this time there's no Paris for me, I'll have to get my coat from the Internet. This will be a new one for me.
In the meantime, also from the Internet, I must find the recipe for gingerbread and make a pilot test of it before we (yes, Kari and me, as we BOTH are going to do the baking and stuff) bake the cookies for real. We already have some cookie cutters, trees and boots and such, and my aunt I guess, can find us some more, like stars and comets and other things. The point og it is multiple. For once, we'd like to decorate our Christmas tree only with edible things, thus taking it off, means to eat all that's hanging on it and then fold the tree and store it for next year (I'm against tree-killing for Christmas, thus no natural, freshly murdered trees for me, though the fact that it's not organic, but the result of metal mining (all the wire) and brent extraction (the plastic parts), doesn't make me all that happy). Hungarians have these candy they usually hang from the tree called "szaloncukor", which translates like "Salon Candy". These are nicely wrapped bonbons (all I've tried so far are chocolate covered something), that come with a thread, lace or piece of wire that helps you hang each of them from the branches of the tree. Thus the revolutionary thought of "eating the things that hang from trees" is already present in Hungarian Lore. ^_^
Up to this point, sure my good friend Smurf must be nauseated, thinking I've betrayed the Grinch Team, but I haven't. You see, I do not decorate or start any sort of Christmas celebration before the 24th, 23rd for earliest. I still loath Christmas Carrols, and I doubt I'll be ever caught dead singing them. I'm a Halloween Girl and that's what I like, but there are particular things I like to prepare for before hand, such as making sure the gingerbread is good. You see, last year we used an untried recipe and the cookies ended up pretty, but unedible. Not again. I want to eat my Christmas. Therefore, pilot tests are a must.
Another thing, with me, that can't be happening in December are the gifts. I've plenty of friends with whom we have this habit of giving each other a small detail, and honestly, running around in crowded stores, between hordes of shrieking families, and desperate crap-buyers isn't my idea of festive or fun. Personally, I love to hit December with a list all checked out.
The whole Christmas thing often is a Celebration of Mayhem. It's crowded stores and streets with annoying carrols pouring from every sound system, families halting the traffic - both pedestrian and auto motor - uncertainty about alleged discounts and lots of new stuff that suddenly look so crappy because everybody has touched the boxes and they are all fraying at the edges. Everything is about rushing, running, parents getting anxious and berating their annoying children in the street - children often all snotty and screaming, annoying anyone in a 2 block radius. Then, the mayhem doesn't stay in the streets and the stores and the impromptu markets in every corner, but walks everybody home, where you have to fish out from the most unaccesible part of the closet lots of mouldy boxes stuffed with decoration. Oh, not to mention that you had to spend a small fortune buying new decoration, because last years, that you thought it was so pretty and you could use this year, has lost the shine and looks like garbage (flashnews: it always was garbage). So, get the box open it, try not to die with the dust and the toxic fumes bred there, and start decoration the house.
Get the tree. Decorate it. Untagle the tangled up boas and fake snow, laces, lights and other crap that seems to have still bits of last year's tree. Put it all on, play some carrols and expectantly wait for Christmas. You might forget that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus Christ's birthday, and the meaning of all that, but hey, you have Christmas Spirit! Yeah, only to leave it on as long as you can, because when it's done, everything shall go back to the mouldy boxes, back to the unreachable spot of the closet, and you are there to face the bills.
So, maybe, just maybe, you'd like to take the advice of a Grinch Team member, and do something slightly different. You can remain your usual, merry Christmas Elf self, but still, you can be a bit more foreseeing, and a bit more rational. How about you make a list of the people you want to give a present right now and start now thinking about a good gift? Now, good gift doesn't mean expensive, it means right. take the time to think and find something that person would appreciate. Oh, and btw, most of the time edible gifts are a great success, and it doesn't matter if you give them the same thing next year, so think about it!
However, now it's about the decoration. Think, my elfy-friend, about baking this year your decoration. Leave the dusty box and it's toxic spores in the closet, I'm sure in February China would be happy to buy it from you as biochemical weapon, and bake your decoration. Make cookies for the tree, or buy candy and hang it from the branches.
Gingerbread cookies give you the chance to make just about any figure out of them, so you can have your globes, your little houses, bells, stars, angels, and anything and everything you want. Add to it, usually in a baking portion you get more cookies than the ones you can hang on your tree, so it doesn't matter if you eat them off the tree because there's plenty more from what those came from. Possibilities are endless, and you save yourself from all the hassle of dealing with the mouldy box.
Of course, if you live in some place crowded with bugs, where leaving a breadcrust on the table means to wake up with ants, cockroaches and mice, you may not be able to apply these hassle-free, fun-full advises, but if you are bug-mice free, try it out! It's gonna be fun!