Ding Dong Merrily On High

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! That's what my lover Bing Crosby is telling me through my iTunes anyway. I believe him, that old rascal!

Christmas presents have been presenting themselves on our front walk all week long. Now, I am pro-gifts, in case that needed saying.

My mother-in-law Eldene sent a package of presents yesterday and the way you know you have a good mother-in-law is when you count up the Christmas presents and you realize that you have exactly one gift more than your husband. Thanks, Eldene!

Eldene's presents smell different and provide a whole new level of curiosities for the two dumber animals living in my house. While I was in the shower the other day, Barnaby got to the gift Eldene sent for my parents and gnawed off a corner of the packaging (spoiler alert mom, they're chocolates!).

Peter Pan also enjoyed a little joy-ride under the Christmas tree. Somehow, don't even ask me how, somehow Peter Pan found his present. The one intended for him, with his name on it. So he opened it. With his freaky canine mind control powers.

We found him on the bed merrily gnawing his new Merry Christmas bone and The Holbs turned to me all cornfused-like and said, Did you get him a new bone? and I said, Hells no!, because both of us know how weird Peter Pan gets with toys. It is best for Peter's fragile mental health that we limit new toys to Christmases and Birthdays. 

So I gently took the toy away with intents to rewrap. Peter Pan moped and whined and cried and wrote some emo poetry, then he found Barney's present under the tree and opened that. At which point we gave up and decided to let the dogs have their spoiled surprises early. Because, really.

I have a sore throat. These days I am a tragic mute. I have begun communicating with The Holbs entirely via eyebrow. Single eyebrow once means "Take the dogs out please babykins sweetie buns?" Double eyebrows twice is to mean, well, you know what it means.

Today at work I charmed a five year old boy into singing me the Rubber Duckie song while his mom sampled hand lotion. So obviously, I still got it. 


  1. You've Got Mail is my love movie of choice. :)

  2. Rose . . . that is a lovely name.
    (It is our favorite too, Chess.)

  3. I decided to make 4 cookies this year, which I haven't decided. Thus far, I'm thinking these awesome bars I made tonight for a party (gooey caramel butter bars - sticky,chewy,messy,gooey book), english toffee, sugar cookies, and....? annnddd....? I need a fourth. Something really good with chocolate. Homemade oreos? What say ye?

    Oh, and I'm going out of town next week, so that will be the week of baking and delivering and no sending of cards from me.

  4. I have already started my Christmas baking...6 dozen butter cookies yesterday, chocolate-covered pretzels (white and dark chocolate) and (more) lemon bars tomorrow, chocolate-chip cookies and walnut cups on Monday. Christmas cards are also getting done on Monday, and everything should be packed up and ready to ship by then as well. I am paying a small fortune to ship all of these baked goods!

    As soon as that is done, I have to start baking all over again for when we have people over for all sorts of various holiday gatherings. For some reason my mom likes to put out a giant spread of desserts and as a result, I usually end up doing most (all!) of the baking while she puts out the decorations, because for her everything has to be "just so".

    I hope all of your baking and Christmas-card sending goes well!

  5. Normally, I would be dancing in the streets singing that I told you so. Normally, I would jump on the opportunity to gloat. This, I fear is no normal situation. I have been suspicious of the goings on in your home concerning the activities masterminded in my opinion by "The Pan." And while I do believe that he has indeed been guilty of wrong doing, I don't think it to be so in this particular case.

    This is an obvious case of "The Pan's" holiday spirit getting the best of him and nothing more. Could you blame him really?

    I will catch the Pan red handed you can rest assured, but not on this day. Merry Christmas Peter.

  6. As of today I decided that I needed to "let something go" in the holiday process and so that would be the christmas cards- no cards for us this year BUT I have decided that instead I will send Valentines out to the Christmas list!

  7. I'm making puckle warts cookies this year.

  8. and e-cards to those ungrateful relatives who never bother to send a christmas card to Italy because it's too expensive (or so they say).

  9. Chocolate Chip, Sugar, Snickerdoodle, and Chocolate Crinkle cookies are the traditions around here. but I came across this incredibly easy recioe from real simple and I think I may give them a whirl:

    As for cards... I am making ours, in an attempt to save money, and hoping to have them out by next Saturday!

    Merry, Merry!!

  10. First, I love that your rat is wearing a Santa hat, how darn cute! Not only that but Peter Pan is so cuddly looking I want to hug him. But that would be weird.

    I am making chocolate jubilees (, orange sables (Tuesdays with Dorie), and sugar cookies with the cutest snowflake stencils ever found at

    I haven't figured out how to package them for shipping yet. Surely, there must be a way?

  11. ooh, I have have been baking since Halloween. My holiday secret weapon: pumpkin.
    I have devised pumkin bread,pumkin bars, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies, and -- the most divine-- a Chocolate Cake that uses pumkin in place of egss/butter/oil and all that. It is super moist, super sweet (espcially with the addition of chocoalte chips), and terribly decadent. I have also made choclate chip, pecan chocolate chip, and mint-choclate chip cookies.
    And a pumpkin pie-- from scratch (even the crust)-- my very first ever!!!
    This is my first Christmas with an oven of my own and my friends (and potential boyfirend? IT's that red lipstick I am beginning to wear...) are reaping the benifits!

  12. You MUST make Oreo Truffles. To. Die. For.

  13. U should make a pannetone, an italian kind of bread with fruits and nuts and that kinf of stuff. I know u will love it!!!

    Please check my blog for the latest music news and video premieres. Don't loose the Soul Awards. Tell me what u think!

  14. I <3 PP. What kind of dog is he?

  15. I would love to bake, but just can't afford the ingredients, so maybe next year. Instead, I'll send out cards. I should be working on them right now, instead of reading blogs, actually. They'll get done by Wednesday, tho, when I will mail them out en masse. : )

    Oh, and your Peter, getting into his present! Today when I got home from a movie & lunch w/ friends, it was to find my Angel had gotten into the Christmas presents. The bag was gone (gone!) and she was not my first suspect, tho she should have been! The bag was in the library, one present was under my bed, one was in the doorway to the bathroom, and the one for my boss was (broken) in the kitchen. Le Sigh.

    Kids & pets. Gotta love em! : )

  16. Ginger bread cookies, and hot cocoa on a stick. Dip some pretzels, make some caramels and oreo truffle balls- wallah- Christmas treats and neighbor gifts ready to go. It is easier if you have some unpaid laborer to wrap the caramels, as it is a very tedious job.

  17. I do my baking all year round, why save it just for Christmas?

    Cards, in the mail TODAY.

    get excited

  18. I think baked goods are my love language. Seriously. I'm about to start making homemade kit kat bars.

  19. Rachel, he is a Wire Fox Terrier. (Barnaby MacDuffle is a Scottie MacDuff.)

  20. Wait, Gabby, homemade Kit Kats?

  21. Your post was plenty sparkly :+) Gets me all in motion to send *my* cards out.

    Little chewy molasses crinkles are the best...but nothing can touch little PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES made in little muffin wrappers for induvidualized portions. Yum!

    Christmas Cards: fair game once it's December, but usually 2 weeks in advance. I always include a personal mini letter on all that lovely white space on the left of the card (that's what it's know...) Cheers for Christmas!!

  22. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles....mmmmm. We didn't do cards this year. So sad.

  23. Natalie, I have a confession. I detested white Christmas trees -- until I saw yours! It's gorgeous and sparkly and not at all tacky, which is what I thought all white Christmas trees were until you got your hands on one. Now I want one, although I don't think I'd be able to pull off one that looks that great! You have an eye, lady, a great eye!

  24. Homemade Kit Kats! I don't joke about these things!

  25. My dog has found her gift before. Very hound dog of her even though she isn't a hound dog. I've recently posted on my irritation with SOME Christmas letters. Not all Christmas letters, I'm not that Scrougey.

  26. Hi I just found your blog and I must say I LOVE IT! I love the white christmas tree and your cute puppies!! Sadly my hubbs demands a real tree and we have cats so its nice to see the other side!
    I bake the same cookies but this year I'm trying my hand at a real gingerbread house (not a kit!) And we send our Christmas cards a few days before Christmas because I usually forget to do them or mail them :)

  27. As a young poor New York person with not a ton of fancypants parties and/or time and/or money, my Christmas baking is limited. However, my Christmas candy making is high, and there will be cookies when I go home to Ohio. List is as follows:
    Peanut Butter Blossoms (or Kiss Cookies)
    Buckeyes (Ohio specialty...chocolate peanut butter again...theme much?)
    Fried Cookies (as naughty as they sound)
    Caramel Corn (homemade, baby, my specialty)

    Also, last year I sent cards as a grownup by myself, but I set the bar far too high, as now I am out of time basically, and (again) poor. So I made my mother add my name to her cards. I'm living in the past.

  28. We have stockings for our dogs and we put the gifts in there...keeps the sniffing under the tree better.

    I felt the same as Kristi about white trees, but yours is pretty magnificant.

    Christmas cards are halfway done, waiting on the other (boys!) members of our family to sign year I'm considering pre-printed ones. I just thought it was nice to personalize them...


    I'm not gonna lie, I completely failed at this recipe last year and I hold great animosity towards these cookies. However, when I have eaten ones done correctly, they are quite delicious. I have faith that you can pull them off way better than I. Me and cookies just don't mix. Happy holidays :)

  30. I usually make plans to bake around Thanksgiving.
    I start getting sweaty and in a panic that I haven't done it around December 19th. I cancel doing actual baking around the 20th. I go to Sees and send a big fat box with husband to work. I get little boxes of Sees to send with husband for individual workmates. I buy (insert shame) sugar cookie dough so my daughters will have something to frost and sprinkle. Then I feel much better about life in general. VT and HT people get a very nice bottle of French Lemonade. That's way better than baking right? I make plans to send cards. I end up writing everyone an email except for old people that don't do email and I break down and send them a card. My email is not cheezy at all though so it's not a weird Christmas letter that's all braggy. Good luck with your actual baking. I remember the years I made jam thumbprints. I always thought mine were awesome because my thumb is so big, thus more jam. Have fun!


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