Holy wow, how is Christmas next week? Is it just me or do you feel like it literally snuck up on us more than usual this year. Normally, I've got a countdown going starting in November, and I'm listening to Christmas songs wayyyy earlier than any normal human being should. For reals, guys, Christmas is my holiday. I get just giddy thinking about it.
But for some reason, this season thus far has felt really different. And I've been thinking a lot about why that's the case. For one, the weather has been so out of whack here in Chicago. It has snowed once and it was over a month ago, so I don't feel like that really counts. And it has been unusually warm. I seriously keep thinking it's November. Nope, definitely December, Amanda. Definitely December. Also, I feel like I normally have had holiday parties to attend and Christmas-y get togethers and so far this year, I haven't really had one. [No, this is not me throwing myself a pity party, it's just the cold hard facts. People are slacking on the Christmas parties up in my hood! What's a girl gotta do to have a reason to break out the tacky Christmas sweaters with the pompoms on them? *Le Sigh*]
So yeah, long story short, it has just not felt like Christmas.
And I was getting really bummed out about it all. But here's the thing. Christmas/Channukah/Kwanza/whatever you may celebrate isn't about the parties you go to or the snowstorm that comes your way. It's about a feeling. A feeling that just doesn't seem to exist at any other time of the year. For me, it's this heart-fluttering-giant-smiles-giving-warm-fuzzy-joy-feeling inside my soul. And goddamnit I wanted that feeling!!
So, I blasted my Ella Fitzgerald Christmas cd, turned on the Christmas lights, got Christmas cookies baking in the oven and got all of my presents wrapped. And there was that feeling.
So, I guess all of this is to say that if your life isn't bringing you the holiday warm and fuzzies, make them appear. You know what makes you giddy, so do those things and give yourself some holiday lovin'. You deserve it.
OK, now for the Good Stuff.
THE ULTIMATE POTLUCK COOKIE
I love these cookies. They are so healthy and a constant hit at any and all potlucks I attend. People have no clue that they're eating a cookie that is good for them AND delicious! Bonus? They literally take 5 minutes to make, easy, peasy, cookie!
1 cup oats
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon & 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In large bowl, mash bananas until consistency is smooth
3. Stir in oats until completely mixed together
4. Add pumpkin spice and vanilla and mix until it is evenly covered. Then add dark chocolate chunks/chips and optional walnuts and do the same.
5. Using a tablespoon, spoon cookie mix onto a cookie sheet
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookie is baked to your desire!