Although some members of the family have little to do except doze by the stove, some of us have work to do.
Since I came down Monday night, it’s been a whirl of pine and cinnamon scents. I’m counting down to Christmas not in days left but in baking and decorating things each day.
Tuesday was butter tarts and mint-chip shortbreads, and decorating around the house – fresh greens, stockings and crèche and lit village, a choir of mice, and a collection of snowmen on a cupboard, and crocheted snowflakes in the windows, mocked by the green grass outside.
Wednesday was cutting the tree, and decorating same – a process that takes 4 hours and I don’t know how many boxes of ornaments. In between we had a break by stopping by two friends who wanted extra hands for setting up looms.
Friday: Holiday oatmeal cookies with cherries and raisins and coconut in them, and speculaas cookies, our version being crisp thin cutouts, lightly spiced. There will be lots of those, since at least half will go as gifts, and not just for our eating. And mince tarts, and the housecleaning has to get done, and remaining gift wrapping, since people arrive the next day.
Tomorrow the baking should be almost done, finally, only the breads to do: marzipan-filled stollen and cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.
It always looks like so much baking, but it all gets eaten or given, every year. A sweet season indeed.