a Non-Traditional Christmas Tradition

Such good luck, making my cookie delivery run on a day so unseasonably warm, bundling up wasn’t necessary. Coatless, I could show off my newest holiday apron, a gift from from my talented friend, Grace. Her selection of a non-traditional color scheme was the perfect choice,

Christmas cookie delivery 2010 [1600x1200]

as I have no religious connection to Christmas. Rather, I love the holiday because my neighbors go all out, their yard decorations lighting up otherwise dreary winter evenings. Their curtains, normally drawn against the night’s air, are open and framed in front windows are Christmas trees brilliant with colored bulbs, twinkling strands and ornaments. From the sidewalk, their homes have taken on the look of independent art scapes within a common theme.

As a thank you to neighbors for making our evening walk such a joyful stroll, I delivered cookies in bags a-jingle with ornaments.

Christmas cookie delivery closeup 2 [1600x1200]

I bake only one cookie recipe, but a lot of that one! This year’s cookie is a buttery shortbread.

Christmas Cookies set up [1600x1200]

Almond Shortbread Cookies Dipped in Chocolate

1 cup butter, softened 2/3 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 t vanilla extract

2 cups sifted flour, 1/4 t salt, 1 1/3 cups finely chopped blanched almonds

6 oz dark chocolate, 3 T unsalted butter, 1 T hot water

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk & vanilla and blend in. Add flour, salt and almonds. Stir until ingredients are combined well. Divide dough into 2-4 pieces. Shape each into a 1 1/2-2 inch roll. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and chill until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets w/ parchment paper. Cut dough into thin slices. Place 1-2 inches apart on the sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from pans and cool in racks.

In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter over simmering water. Add T of hot water and stir mixture until smooth. Remove from heat. Dip edge of each cookie into the chocolate. Cool on racks or the parchment paper until the chocolate hardens.

Makes 6 dozen. Freezes very well.

Not all cookies make it into giveaway bags – those that crumble before packaging are quickly eaten…by the baker, of course.

Christmas Cookies packaging [1600x1200]

The day after cookie delivery brought gray skies and snow. Here’s the view from the front porch, which is as far as I ventured. I am not a cold weather, snow person. However, I do

Cookie delivery_snowy day2 [1600x1200]

enjoy a nip in the air now and again, especially at Christmas, so I might wear this – my very vintage, very traditional holiday sweater

Christmas sweater [1600x1200]

xxea

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Santa Delivers

Poor Santa. Today is IT for him to get it right. I can only imagine the stress!
In this Christmas advertisement from 1936, Santa takes times from his hectic delivery schedule to enjoy a calming smoke.

Oh, that a bit of vice would provide us the gift of peace on Earth and good will toward men.
Taking a hint from Santa, ’tis time to shut things down, gather ’round and enjoy the magic that is Christmas, sans the ciggie, of course.
Merriest holiday to all
xxea
Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Tie One On…a vintage Christmas apron, of course!

Oh, which to tie on this Christmas eve? Perhaps a softly pleated waist apron with a holly berry and pine cone motif…

Aprons_vintage xmas 3 (Medium)

Poinsettias, embroidered or flocked, are always in style…

Aprons_vintage xmas 1 (Medium)

Maybe cotton or chintz, fancied up with rick rack…Aprons_vintage xmas 2 (Medium)

Then there are aprons with fabric so adorable, oh, how to choose…

Aprons_vintage xmas 4 (Medium)

Flocked panel aprons in different colors and designs…an apron change out is a must!

Aprons_vintage xmas flocked 6 (Medium)

As for me, I must wait one more day before tying on Jingle Belle

Aprons_vintage xmas jingle belle (Medium)

my one and only Christmas apron creation and jingling ’round the block to Heidi and Phil Marin’s home for a holiday dinner. To only wear this confection once a year is a pity – then again, what comes but once a year is also most anticipated.

Aprons_vintage xmas belle closeup (Medium)

As I imagine the women who once tied on the vintage Christmas aprons in my collection, I’m thinking of all y’all, and sending you and your families my best wishes for the merriment and rejoicing that is Christmas.

xxea