Keeping the holiday happy

This is some of the tastiest cookie batter ever (nevermind the raw eggs)

I’m not planning to stretch myself thin this holiday. It’s just not worth it. I think people set such high expectations each season and then run themselves ragged trying to pull it all off.

The honest truth is that we’ll buy Devin just a couple of gifts this year. Everyone thinks we should have such grand plans for his first Christmas. But think about it — the kid is NOT going to know the difference. If I threw him in a room with some wrapping paper and empty boxes, he’d be as happy as a clam. Besides, he’s been showered with plenty of toys, books and clothes. He’s got all he needs for the moment. (I did, however, buy him a two-piece snowman sleep set from Old Navy that my husband claims makes him look like a convict. So at least he has that!)

The rest of the list is small too. And cards…I bought a couple of boxes, but haven’t decided whether I’ll use them. The expected act from us first-time parents would be a lovely photo card of our beautiful boy. But we sent out announcement cards already, so I’ve kind of covered that for a few months. Maybe we’ll send everyone Valentine cards and take that task off my plate for now. That’s an inspired thought!

The decorating is done, except for the tree. That, too, is pretty low-key. We don’t string up outdoor lights and displays. Someday I wouldn’t mind some lights out there, but it’s just not a priority for now.

I am, however, fitting in some baking. That is something I don’t feel pressured about. I love making cookies and breads — whatever the season. The Double Chocolate Chews (ala Cooking Light) pictured here are my new holiday staple. They’re kind of like a cookie, but also very moist and cakey like a brownie. And I can never resist snagging some of the batter as I go along, which resulted in two fewer cookies than the recipe called for.