The holidays are getting closer. For some of us, there’s the realization that the inevitable holiday get together which can’t be avoided will necessarily involve folks we’re not too fond of. It is becoming clear that this is not going to be as much fun as the gatherings the greeting cards depict.
What to do?
Step one, get rid of all glittery greeting cards which show a perfect celebration. They’re just dropping glitter everywhere and have no relation to reality. They’re causing you to expect something that probably will never happen, a perfect Christmas. On the bright side, if it did happen, you might not like it. At a party the other night, a woman looked at me, gestured to the assembled party goers and said, “Look at them. All victims of the Rockwellian legend.” That lady needed to make some Aggression Cookies.
Step two, Make Aggression Cookies. If it all gets to be too much, gather the kids together or a neighbor or two and make a big batch of Aggression Cookies. These come from Peg Bracken’s I Hate To Cook Book. Published in 1960. It was a wonderful activity with kids, it will be wonderful to do with grandchildren. Great to do by yourself. The recipe is often reprinted, and here it is again. You just beat heck out of them, and the cookies are still good.
Makes Five Dozen
Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 tbsp Baking soda
3 c Brown sugar
3 c Flour
3 c butter
6 c Oatmeal
Peg wrote, “These are the best-tasting as well as the fastest, easiest and cheapest cookies I ever ran into, and I wouldn’t say such a thing unless I meant it. The more you knead, mash, squeeze and beat the bejunior out of the dough, the better you feel and the better the cookies taste. Moreover, the recipe is easy to cut down. (As is, makes 15 dozen.)
“Put all this in a huge bowl and mash, knead, squeeze, (see above). Then form it into small balls, midway between filbert size and English walnut size, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Butter the bottom of a small glass, dip it in granulated sugar and mash the balls flat. Keep doing it. You need butter the glass bottom only once or twice, but re-dip it in sugar for each ball. Then bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 min. I found you need to let them sit just a bit before taking up from the cookie sheet. We also cooked them for the 12 min. You need some space between them if you make them any bigger cause they tend to spread out.”
While all of these are baking go sit down and read a Christmas story, to raise your spirits.
Step three, Read a Christmas book. Several people I’ve talked to this week tell me they make a point of reading a new Christmas book every year and over the years build a nice Christmas library. Just choosing something that looks at Christmas with new eyes can be very helpful. Try Skipping Christmas if you want to see John Grisham get away from the endless legalese. If you feel the need of an anatomy lesson, try Holiday on Ice by Jaci Burton. The cover art shows a young man who appears to be looking about anxiously for a safety pin since his zipper is apparently broken. Much better is Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris. The cover alone is very sinus clearing. If none of these books strike a chord for you, go to the bookstore and pick out something written just for you. OR, I feel I must mention if you want laughter and the perspective of someone celebrating their second fifty years, Catch The Christmas Spirit and Keep It All Year Long, by Dorothy Wilhelm, has been selling out at all signings. Very cheerful and happy. (And I don’t think the fact that I wrote this book is affecting my judgment in any way.)
Dorothy Wilhelm is the author of Catch The Christmas Spirit And Keep It All Year Long. It’s still available in time for Christmas at www.itsnevertoolate.com. If you would like a touchingly sentimental autograph, write Dorothy at Contact her at Dorothy@itsnevertoolate.com • PO Box 881, DuPont, WA 98327, or 1-800-548-9264. The books are $10 including mailing and sales tax. Ask about our Good Customer discount.