Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day Is Here (and Cookies, Too!): The Many Days of Christmas, Day Four

John poses with a rather tall gift from his mother-in-law, 'P.A.T.'Christmas Day is here at last--and to be honest, a few days too soon given the state of our holiday preparations (with decorations still unfinished, many a gift yet to be wrapped, and even some family presents sitting unmade and on the proverbial drawing board). But here nonetheless, and in-between visits from friends--Gina and Todd dropped off a bit of holiday cheer and had coffee--and trips over to a couple of the neighbors to deliver some edible gifts, we managed to unwrap a few more of our own presents.

We're very focused on the garden and landscape here at Chateau Papillon (a fact of which if you've read this blog from the springtime onward you're probably quite cognizant), so several of the items on my Amazon "wish list" had a garden theme to them. Books, yes, of course, and those already have Beth and I dreaming of warmer weather and the yard tasks ahead once Old Man Winter passes along his way, but also some practical tools, like the Fiskars hedge shears which filled that tall box I'm pictured with to the left, a gift from Beth's mom which will be put to great use.

I also opened another of the presents from Beth, which was beautifully wrapped in rice paper she'd been saving for years from her grandmother. Inside were many equally-beautiful gifts, all of them brassy little yard implements for the fairy-mansion-to-be, like a little picket fence; watering can; several miniature pots; and a birdhouse, bird bath, and planter all on little stakes to go around the fairies' yard.

Fairy accoutrementsWe also finally got to the making of a batch of Christmas cookies, though using a box of vanilla sugar cookie mix via Costco instead of the scratch recipe in our family cookbook (the latter requires the dough chill for several hours before working). The Costco mix, though very tasty, isn't the best for cutting & baking shapes, but we did end up with several Papillon-shaped cookies (both dogs and butterflies), a Dachshund, Christmas trees, snowflakes, dog bones, and for the daydreams of a more tropical holiday, a palm tree and pink flamingo:

A batch of Christmas cookies hot out of the ovenWe also finally opened the gifts from Beth's brother, sister-in-law, and their kids, Ferris and Amelia, revealing two hand-decorated plates from the kids:

Also, we did at long last sit down to watch It's a Wonderful Life, a holiday tradition we both enjoy (and one which I introduced Beth to; growing up, we typically had it on while baking our cookies on Christmas Eve). I'll have to do a separate post about the film, which despite my non-religious perspective I find to be one of the most inspirational (and in fact, among the best overall) films made.

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