or, is eaten.
We’re all aware of the hierarchy to eating Christmas cookies, I’m sure. Same as when the cookies first made their debut on the table, there is a firing order to their consumption. You start with your favorites and work your way in descending order from there. It is as individual as a pair of underwear.
Following is a synopsis of cookies; a schedule or bill of goods, by no means thorough, much less exhaustive, or in any cardinal order, to be had over the course of my holiday season –
Butter cookies (in all manner of trees, wreaths, reindeer, Santa and candy cane shapes), sugar cookies (same, et al), shortbread cookies, pignoli, knots, crischuki, jam squares, magic bars, peanut butter blossoms, ruglah, fudge, oatmeal raisin, pfeffernuese, fig bars, tri-color, anisette, gingerbread…
But few, if any of those can bat second fiddle to a Toll House chocolate chip cookies. The good, old-fashioned stand-by. They used to be the first to disappear in my house, but over the years I have managed to pace myself, fairly closely with my expanding waistline, and spread out their consumption. They are not, however, the last eaten. No. They go long before the last, stale, mangled…crescent or anisette cookie.
I know there is 10+ pounds of dues to pay for their enjoyment, however brief. How does the saying go ol’ ‘a second on the lips, a few months of hard work around the gut’ ?. Or something like that.
The holiday season has truly ended when the last Christmas cookie is eaten. It’s a signal that the decorations should have been put away already, the tree tossed unceremoniously out the door (the exact opposite of the way it came in).
Gifts received should either be in the rotation or exchanged for store credit. If you still have any gifts that you haven’t distributed yet, mail them (or keep them for yourself). The recipient pro’ly thinks you forgot about them anyway.
The friggin’ outside lights should be taken down and maybe burned in large fire, or tossed in the trash, depending.
Make no mistake, breaking down Christmas is a project, not to be taken any less seriously than cleaning the garage or painting a room. You need someone good on the accursed lights alone. Not someone who will try to cut corners, thus setting up next year’s deployment with more work, headache, heartache, intestinal discomfort, uncontrolled bursts of acid tongue curses and incantations…
You get it, right?
The holiday season is done and absolutely nothing short of 345 days on the Julian calendar is going to bring them back. And really, who isn’t ready to stop the self loathing that comes along with the justification for another (x) number of cookies, even if they are the stale, burnt, too-spicy-and-not-enough-icing gingerbread blobs your niece made? It’s the holidays! The milk will wash them down fine.
That’s the way it goes. Nothing new to anyone older than 10. Pack it, store it, and vacuum the rug.
Time to embrace the new season: Winter. You didn’t forget, did you?
Settle in. It could be long and cold, with few, if any paid vacation days. There will be times of sudden interruptions in your carefully timed morning routine to clear a path through the newly fallen snow so that you and the rest of the family can make your appointed rounds. There will be increased disruption in your cadence by vehicle operators who don’t appreciate the loss of stability and traction on weather affected road surfaces.
Yes, it is staying light out longer. Damned lot of good it’s doing when everything is frozen. Maybe you could defrost the freezer. I hear tell it is a good time for that.
Think of this: February 2 is Ground Hog Day, a cross-quarter day, exactly halfway through the season. At this writing that is less than a month away. The Celts thought it a good time for celebration. I might feel the need to participate. Maybe the damned ground critters are good for something, after all.
The cookies should be a distant memory by then.