I'm not in the Christmas spirit, really. It's not one of my favorite holidays, mostly because it's lost meaning for too many people. In such a bad economy, too, I just don't have the money to spend frivolously--after the dentist wiped out any extra money I made this semester--and, besides, the people in my family can buy what they want for themselves. I sent my children money, as I always do, because they know what they need/want. I refrain from cluttering up their lives with useless "things." They're not into owning "things" that don't serve a purpose. I applaud that, and I try to emulate it.
And the weather has been screwy--can you say "global warming"? One day, the rain freezes as it falls from the sky; the next day, I open the doors and windows to move the air around because it's so sultry.
Today, I've been baking (should have done that on a cold day!) Cowboy Cookies. I divided the dough in half, added cranberries and raisins to one half, then added chocolate and peanut butter chips to the other. The basic dough includes oats, and I added nuts. They're yummy, and I need to give them away fast, before I eat them all. I also made some "no-bake" cookies called "Carolina Delights." They require oats, unsweetened chocolate, butter, sugar, peanut butter. Also yummy. I'll probably bake bread tomorrow and include that in what I bring to my mom's on Christmas Day.
You can find the cookie recipes on allrecipes.com. I've been trying out a bunch of recipes I've found there. I get in such a rut with cooking that I decided I needed to venture into new territory. I've also been pulling out my cookbooks and trying some new dishes. I made a pot of Cuban Black Beans yesterday. I'm making full batches and freezing what I don't eat immediately. That way, when the new semester begins, I'll have my lunches cooked. A good way to save money. I've also been making my own vegetable and chicken stock for soups and stews. Those freeze well, too.
To help my mood, I've tuned into Turner Classic Movies. I've already seen "The Bells of St. Mary's"; TCM has "A Christmas Carol" with Reginald Owen on right now, and, after this, comes "Scrooge" with Albert Finney, my all-time-favorite version of "A Christmas Carol., next to "The Muppet Christmas Carol," of course! So, maybe that will help. I'm just waiting for them to play "Holiday Inn." That movie lets me know that Christmas is here! And, of course, no Christmas is complete without "It's a Wonderful Life," the original with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.
Anyway, no matter what holiday you celebrate, even if you don't celebrate any holiday, have a safe and happy day! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus!