It is Christmas Eve and the children are in bed, finally.
Important advice for everyone out there - do not wait until Christmas Eve day to do your baking! Even if you have everything else done, this is not good planning!
This is what I spent today doing. My baking. I had to, or we'd have had nothing to put out for Santa tonight. Not even a box of Oreos. I probably could have found him some chocolates. I do have left over cake. But Santa deserves baked goods that were made just for him. Left over cake won't cut it.
From left, around, are Gooey Coconut Dream Bars (from Phe/om/enon Holly,) Meyer Lemon Squares (recipe later), Raisin Oatmeal Cookies (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, minus the pecans), and Spicy Ginger Cookies (from The Canadian Baker, not my usual recipe since I would have had to look for mine.)
In addition to these items, I also "threw together" our Chritmas Eve dinner, a broth fondue with fresh veggies, a bit of this and a bit of that. The children loved being able to pick at what they wanted to eat, but spent a good chunk of dinner running back to my laptop, conveniently found on the kitchen counter, so they could see just where in the world Santa was right then! (And for the record, at 10:17 pm, he was in San Juan, Puerto Rico.)
(In retrospect, maybe the last minute baking was a good idea - I didn't make nearly as much as I might have otherwise, if I'd been doing so well in advance and freezing as I went.)
Dinner was followed by a walk around the block, to see the lights. Unusual that we needed umbrellas and snow jackets to do so, though. Rain is melting the snow, but also making things very slippery around here. So if you are driving, be careful!
Before getting the boys off to bed, we had to assemble our tray for Santa and the reindeer. We break with some traditions, providing the reindeer with apples instead of carrots, and normally we leave him chocolate milk, something he rarely gets. This year, with the cold and the rain, we decided to leave him hot chocolate milk instead, kept warm in a thermos, with a mug nearby. The children chose what to leave him for cookies (the ones they themselves had just been sampling.)
The kitchen is cleaned, the dishwasher is running, the Christmas lights are on. I think it is time to curl up and enjoy a few minutes of quiet before the chaos that is Christmas morning comes.
May you and your family have a wonderful day, filled with love and happiness. And a good cookie or two.