I am exhausted. I finally have all of my Christmas shopping done.
It shouldn’t be this difficult. I have 7 people on my list. At one point in my life I think the list was over 20. Now I have my two children, my mother, one niece and one nephew that I still buy for, the mobster, and his daughter. That’s it. And most of what I bought I purchased online right after Thanksgiving. Plus, I’ve already exchanged gifts with the mobster and his daughter. So I don’t know what the hell happened!
My mom and I went out on Saturday. I thought it was going to be a quick trip but it turned into several hours. First stop was the mall. That was probably my first mistake. But I wanted to check out Bath & Body Works for my Secret Santa and some other odds and ends gifts, and my mom had sent my brother and I pictures of some tops she wanted at JC Penney’s.
I ended up spending way too much money at Bath & Body Works. They had their Buy 3, Get 3 Free sale going on. I intended to buy 3 and get 3 free. What I ended up doing was buying 6 and getting 6 free. I also bought 2 candles and a small thing of hand lotion because my hands are getting so dry and horrid looking what with all of this constant hand washing. I promise I always wash my hands after I go to the bathroom but my hands seem to really be taking a beating for some reason now.
My mom wanted to check out another store that had a stuffed dog in it. She recently lost her dog and she says she’s not getting any more dogs so I guess this is her replacement. She picked out a dog for Christmas after I told her not to check out the price tag, just tell me which one she liked. I also bought a few stocking stuffers for the boy.
Next we headed back to Penney’s. I had a hell of a time trying to find the tops she liked. I did end up finding a cute pair of jeggings for myself, along with a new sweater and a vest.
After we finished at the mall we went to lunch. I was starving.
Then onto Target. I bought some more stocking stuffers and we both noted the bare aisles in the store. I’m not sure there are going to be any after Christmas sales. That stuff is gone!
I needed to get a gift card from a restaurant in town but my mom suggested going to another location because the one near where we were was horribly busy. She wanted to stop at Kroger anyway and get butter because it was on sale for $1.99.
She dropped me off to run in and grab the gift cards to the restaurants and then we were off to Kroger. I bought stuff for baking and stuff for a breakfast casserole on Christmas Eve.
We were on our way home when my mom remembered that I had promised Picasso Chick-Fil-A after our shopping trip. My mom had made him breakfast so it wasn’t like the kid hadn’t eaten. In fact, I had told him it would be several hours before I would be returning.
I placed my order online but it was still a mess with a long enough wait period. Finally I got his lunch and our two peppermint chip milkshakes and we were on our way back home.
I think we were back home around 3:45.
Now, if that wasn’t enough I had the brilliant idea to invite two of my friends over to grab holiday goodies on Sunday. I even offered up some appetizers or soup if they wanted to come inside and visit, instead of just grab a plate and go.
I started baking late. It started out okay. I made Scotcheroos first. I’m pretty good at that. They went off without a hitch.
Then it was onto Christmas crack. I didn’t have a cookie sheet with a lip on it that was big enough to hold all 40 crackers. I did have a regular cookie sheet though and I figured I could fold up the sides and that would work just as well.
It did not. I heard the timer go off and initially ignored it for a good 30 seconds and then I jumped up out of my chair when I realized it was the caramel baking onto the crackers. When I went to pull it out of the oven I realized that the caramel had escaped the confines of the aluminum foil and had spilled all over the bottom of the oven. Suffice to say there was a lot of cussing going on. I’m not sure holiday cheer and motherfucker belong in the same sentence but that was definitely going on at my house on Saturday. The crackers end up swimming in the caramel to begin with so you can imagine the mess it makes when the caramel bursts the dam, so to speak. The crackers go overboard with it. It was a messy disaster, but I got through it.
I still had two things to make- M&M cookie dough truffles, which got devoured by my kids last year, and sugar cookies.
My cookbook for the sugar cookies recipe was outside in the shed. I had to take a flashlight and root around outside in order to find it. It’s a damn good cookie recipe. Definitely worth the effort.
Both of these recipes require chilling the dough, so I think I actually made both of them before I started with the other stuff. It doesn’t matter though because I ran into problems with both of them.
For the cookie dough truffles I ran out of melted chocolate in which to dip them. So, I got through maybe half of them and had to stop.
Meanwhile, when I turned the oven back on so that I could bake the cookies it began to smoke, thanks to the caramel disaster. I tried cleaning it out and all I got for my efforts was almost being burned. The heat quickly rose through the scrubbing pad I was using, even bundled up into four layers. I tried again using the sponge on top of the scrubbing pad but it still didn’t get it clean enough. I finally dug underneath the sink and found some oven cleaner. This meant I was going to have to put the cookies on hold until Sunday while the oven cleaner did its job.
On Sunday I was once again a cooking fool. My mom asked me if I’d like some scrambled eggs. I said no thank you because I was going to make myself an omelette. She decided that sounded pretty good and told me I could make her one, too. I ended up making three mushroom, spinach, bacon and Swiss cheese omelets.
Picasso and I had an errand to run later on in the morning. I let him drive which was hair raising. He’s a scary driver. Then again, he only has about 2 hours of driving experience so far so what should I expect?
Once back home I let him out and I took off to finish up my shopping. I went to Wal-Mart first because I needed more chocolate chips for the cookie dough truffles, I needed the ingredients for my soup I was preparing for my friends, and I was hoping they would have all of the gift cards I wanted to purchase.
They, too, have pretty much nothing left on their shelves. I was going to pick up some gift card holders and the Christmas section is pretty welled cleaned out. They did have all of the ingredients for my soup, plus the chocolate chips that I almost forgot. I got all except one of the gift cards I was hoping to find. This was awesome except it did mean I needed to go one more place, which I did.
I got back home. I finished up my baking. The sugar cookies were as amazing as I remembered them being. My M&M cookie dough truffles are finished. The Christmas crack is broken up into pieces. The Scotcheroos have not been cut yet so I don’t have to worry about covering them.
After all the baking was done I moved on to making my soup. I already knew one of my friends was not going to be able to make it. Around five my other friend called to say she wasn’t going to be able to make it after all either. Or, if she did, it wouldn’t be until later, probably around 8. That was fine by me. I just need to get rid of it!
All that’s left now is some cleanup and some wrapping and sorting. I need to wrap my mom’s gifts and I think there might be a gift or two for a kid. Most everything will be put into bags because I hate wrapping gifts. The biggest thing I need to do is sort through the stocking stuffers and Santa gifts so that those are ready to go.
This has been the rare weekend where I really feel like I need an extra day because I’m so tired after all of this running around.
Luckily for me I don’t work a full week again this year. We work a half day on the 24th and then are off the 25th. I’m taking vacation on Monday and Tuesday so I’ll have a good 5 1/2 days off. I go back Wednesday and Thursday and then am off again on Friday. I could get used to a 2 day work week.
The mobster is flying up for New Year’s Eve so that’s something to look forward to. It will be only our second New Year’s Eve together. He’s getting in a little after 1 but I won’t be getting off work until 5. I’ll pick him up and we’ll go have lunch together and then he’ll drop me off at work and he’ll go back to the house and pick me up at 5.
I will leave you with my entry for our office’s ugly Christmas sweater contest. You probably can’t tell in the pictures but I have matching earrings. They’re little wreaths. The whole dress looks like a putting green. It’s seriously hideous. I can’t believe anyone would buy that dress for anything other than a joke. In fact, when I posted it on Facebook one of my friends told me she sees this exact dress in the Meijer up by her right near the checkout lanes and she often wondered who on earth would buy such a thing. Thanks to me, now she knows!