“EC, BR, BHM, and 8 others like this.”
This was my Facebook status one day after we’d spent an entire Saturday doing the very things mentioned above.
Actually, it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The tree was in the stand, all naked and bare, and the extended Schrock Christmas festivities were to start the next day (you heard me – on Thanksgiving weekend). Which meant that it was time for the rockin’ around the Christmas tree to kick into high gear.
We started with the tree. While Brave Two schlepped up and down the basement steps with boxes of ornaments and bags of lights, Little Papoose dove in.
At the age of three, this is the year it’s all clicking for him – birthdays, presents, lights, decorations, cookies, the whole kablooie – and he was in his element. He dug right in, hanging all his ornaments in a swath about three feet from the floor. He’d pull one off to examine it, then another one, all the while darting around and just generally getting underfoot.
In a picture that he will never allow me to publish, I have Mr. Schrock in his PJs lifting up Little Schrock in his PJs to place the star at the top of the tree. Taken, of course, by me in my PJs.
After we oohed and aahed over the lights, we headed for the kitchen en masse to tackle the cookies. If you’ve done cut-out cookies before, you know what a mess it generates. You know, too, what fun it generates. This is a years-long tradition for us, started back when the older boys were little.
Since the 20-year-old couldn’t join us this year, his 3-year-old brother stepped in to cover for him. And cover he did. He covered himself with flour, and he covered my neatly rolled-out dough with cookie cutter marks. He vigorously stamped an already cut-out cookie with a different shape. In other words, he made his mark. Repeatedly.
We cut and we cut. We cut Christmas wreaths and Christmas trees. There was a whole flock of sheep. We turned out multiple pairs of Santa’s boots. And doggone it if those kids didn’t slip a few cows through and a camel or two, even though I’d told them not to use those because they always end up being amputees. It’s the same reason we quit using the cardinal a few years back. (The tail kept falling off, and there’s only so much gluing you can do with frosting. The next step is Liquid Nail.)
When it was time to frost them, I whipped it up and turned it over to Numbers Two and Three. To my chagrin, I discovered that there was no red food coloring in my cupboard. None. Not a drop.
This, I realize, is clearly a violation of “The Proper Guide to Making Cookies That Santa Will Eat” rulebook and leaves me open to prosecution. (Rats. I’m afraid I’ve left some incriminating fingerprints on the cookies. With any luck, though, he’ll eat the evidence.)
All that was left for them, then, was to churn out psychedelic cookies in bright blue and green and white, sprinkled liberally with red and green sugars. Martha Stewart, pass on by.
It was at this point that we turned the kitchen over to The Chief who immediately commenced boiling water and cooking up one of his specialties, a thick, creamy fudge that has received the Schrocks’ equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Judging by the way it’s evaporating around here, it was a roaring success.
But back to my status. We did, indeed, make fudge, decorate the tree, and crank out a score of Christmas cookies, all in our jammies. We learned that spending a day in one’s PJs is therapeutic. Preparing for the holidays together is also therapeutic. Doing both at once for a whole day at Christmas time is – well, it’s wonderful therapy. Just don’t expect to see any pictures of it.
Okay, so I’ll share a few pictures of the boys. You just won’t see their parents in jammies.