Happy New Year! How are you? In spite of enjoying the quiet, I am sad Christmastime is over. I am definitely a 12 Days of Christmas Elf. I love the time when all the chaos is over and we are snug in our little house with nowhere to go, sitting in the glow of the Christmas tree lights. I married an Advent Elf, but have passed the 12-Days gene on to our children. Last year Eli's first-grade teacher read his class The After-Christmas Tree. It talks about all the fun things a family did during the Christmas season, how they feel sad when it's over, and an idea the mother has to make things fun for a little bit longer. We loved the book so much that we ordered our own copy and promised to make an After-Christmas Tree this year.
In December I read it to his second-grade class and we made pinecone/peanut butter (no nut allergies)/birdseed ornaments for the kids to take home. You're welcome, parents of Eli's classmates! Please don't tell me how your pinecone went directly into the circular file! And on the 31st, we dragged our un-decorated Christmas tree into the backyard and decorated it with birdseed ornaments. It has since blown over and is covered with about 4 inches of snow. It's the thought that counts, birds and squirrels and voles and other rodents!
And no, the irony is not lost on me. I complain all year about the bird poo left on our swingset by birds attracted to neighborhood birdfeeders. Yet here we are, with a pet cockatiel in the house and a birdseed-covered Christmas tree in the yard. Parenthood makes one do incredible things.
Speaking of incredible things, you all need to enter some of your delicious recipes in the So Delicious Dairy Free Three-Course Recipe Contest. I am not allowed to enter (sad trombone) but you are! There are three $500 grand prizes in gift-card form, and ten runner-up prizes! Get cooking, please! If your recipes teach me how to make a meal of candy canes, clementines, nuts, fancy crackers, and Stonewall Kitchen sauces, even better.