This will be the first year that I’m not going to my parent’s house for Christmas, and I’ve been saying since last Christmas that it meant we just had to get a tree this year. Tim and I have never gotten a tree, because Tim always went over to his parent’s on Christmas Day and I’d be out of town. This year, I insisted, and he quickly and easily agreed. We headed to the tree lot this past Saturday and picked out our 7 foot tree! And now our house smells magical!
Tim’s dad helped us cart it home and set it up in a tree stand, and then it was our turn to decorate! I headed out to Target (which is another story for another day) to pick up lights, and I had no idea how many strands we would need. I picked up two. If you know trees, that probably makes you laugh. I had to head back the following day for three more strands to finish it off.
But we got it done! And we had more ornaments than we realized, even though this is our first Christmas. We definitely had to get some filler balls, but as we have more years together those will be replaced by ornaments we bought traveling and people have given us for different occasions. Remembering where ornaments came from was always one of my favorite parts of decorating the tree growing up. Here is our finished product:
As it turns out, my tripod is good for more than just outfit photos! It helped me capture the picture on the left without a blur!
After decorating the tree on Saturday night and Sunday morning, I made cookies for Leah’s cookie swap! I looked for cookies for quite a while, and I finally decided on Candy Cane Oreo Chocolate Chunk Cookies that I found on Picky Palate. I followed her recipe almost exactly, but I substituted half holiday Oreos and half mint Oreos because I couldn’t find the Candy Cane Oreos that she called for.
The dough is supposed to turn this red color, so I was right on track.
I got kind of worried at this point, because I noticed that all the chocolate chunks and Oreos were taking up a lot of space in the cookies.
And then I opened the oven and saw them looking like this. I got really worried, but that turned out to be what they were supposed to look like, as they all ended up working out in the end.
They ended up being really delicious, but super crunchy. I think I left them in the oven for too long, and some people told me on twitter that I may not have added enough flour. So there’s a tip if you decided to make them,
I remembered that Leah had given prizes for certain categories, and last year I brought my cookies on a big platter. I found out later that I was supposed to bring 6 sets of half a dozen already wrapped in a cute package. So this year, I made my goal to think of a more creative package. At least if the cookies didn’t taste good I could fool them with the wrapping!
I just put them in plain cellophane bags and then tied them closed and wrapped an ornament around them. The ornaments were $1 for two ornaments at Target, and they sparkled, which you know I loved.
So, the cookies tasted good, but they were too crunchy. I’d bake a little less time than recommended on the recipe, but I’d definitely give them a shot! And if all else fails, wrap them up real pretty and no one will remember that when they tried to cut them with the plastic tasting knife it almost broke the knife.
So, this weekend put me in the holiday spirit! We listened to some Christmas music on the way home from dinner on Friday, and our decorations are out in full force. They’re very similar to last year, so I won’t do another post. Oh, and that Target sale I hit up the day after Christmas last year? That was the best idea ever. All of the half priced wrapping, decorations, and ornaments helped complete the look for this year!
Have you put your tree up this year or made any cookies?
Are you ready for the holidays?
What clicks you into the holiday spirit?