Please! Don’t Do It!

These people are NOT going to the mall later.

I am so dismayed by the practice that has been evolving over the last few years, that is, stores being open on Thanksgiving itself.

I worked for a (very) little while last year, when things were rather desperate, in a retail store.  When it came to light that I would have to work Thanksgiving night, I just about cried.  Actually, I actually cried. What is becoming of us?  A time to celebrate and commune with family and friends, with no presents or “stuff,” with a meal that can be quite  inexpensive to prepare, that is a quiet time to just be, and we want to go to the mall.  Stop it!  Go on Friday.  Or, better, on Saturday.

What do you need so badly that you must cut short your and your family’s and the store clerk’s Thanksgiving? Even if you do desperately need an off-brand flat screen TV at a ridiculously low price, you know that you are going to have to stand in line and then throw elbows like hell to get one (and still maybe not get one!). You do know that, right?  So please don’t do it.  Think of the people who have to work in those stores, who have no choice and can’t quit their jobs because they have to work on Thanksgiving.  Moms or dads who have made a feast for their families, which is quite a lot of work, and then have to go to out to their jobs at 8:00 at night.  It’s not right.

Let’s get back to being civilized, family-centric people who don’t do things like act like a horde of barbarians for some crap at Target or Walmart.  Please.  Stay in and enjoy your family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Family, Feasting, and a Merry Christmas!

We have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve.  Usually prime rib, but due to austerity measures this year, we are having bangers and mash (which we all love but rarely eat, for obvious reasons). On Christmas Day, we graze. There are mince tarts, jam tarts, and maid of honour tarts (yes, these get spelled the English way).  Christmas cookies, Christmas toffee, Christmas cake  (I feel like Elf and his four main food groups: “Candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup”).  Sausage rolls, lox and cream cheese with bagels, bourbon balls, peppermint bark, mini quiches, and a box of chocolates.  Later, we add rolls, cold sliced turkey and sliced roast beef, and condiments and crudites into the mix.  It is a food extravaganza that goes on all day Christmas Day.  And because we do have this embarrassment of riches, I don’t have to cook on the 26th, either.  Which is quite a treat, really, since I have been cooking like a fiend for the week (and longer, for the things that can be frozen) leading up to the 25th.

Springerle cookies (at right) are a new addition this year–we’ll see how they turn out.  The sausage rolls (at far left in the picture above) are a perennial favorite. The tarts are on the tiered plate above, and Christmas sugar cookies (below right)  are made in a double batch, frozen, and then slowly doled out and quickly iced, otherwise we would scarf them down in a day or two.

Bourbon balls (below) are probably my favorite Christmas goodie.  Even when I was a little child I loved them.  They are very bourbony, so I’m not sure this says anything good about me.  The Christmas cake is a fruitcake draped with almond paste, then iced with royal icing (hey! this is what Kate and William’s wedding cake was–just one more way in which my life parallels that of the royal family…).

The mini quiches, peppermint bark, box of See’s, and Cadbury fingers are all gifts or purchased (once a year treats, and I can’t do everything), and they nestle up nicely to the homemade English toffee (at left).

Now, I’ve not given you recipes, but these are all easy to find, run-of-the-mill Christmas treats.  I know Christmas isn’t just about food, like I know that Christmas isn’t just about presents.  But certainly you can’t deny the huge role both play in the celebration.  Christmas is, of course, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but it is also a time to celebrate family and tradition, which I think is just as significant to most people as the religious reasons for the holiday.  So have a very Merry Christmas, and enjoy your families and your feast.

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