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  • Writer's pictureTina

'Twas the Weekend Before Christmas

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Living in Florida for our first Christmas, time has been escaping me. It's still in the high 80's, and my wardrobe consists of shorts and flip flops, with my hair flung back in a pony tail. It's so strange to see mowers and grills outside Lowe's next to the Christmas trees and wreaths. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not complaining! But my head hasn't wrapped around the fact that next Friday is Christmas Eve. I am doing one last show for the year this weekend. It's both Saturday and Sunday down at the Englewood Elk's Lodge! If you're in the area, stop by and say hello! If you're looking for a last minute gift, we will have some gift baskets on hand, and we also will have candle boxes and tissue paper.

Next week will be filled with the traditional Christmas activities like baking and shopping. We're doing a gag gift exchange and I still need to find something that will get a laugh from a bunch of college-aged boys. Last year I bought "headlight fluid" and they thought that was the best thing ever!

When my dad passed away, I made a memorial video for his service, and my mom loved it. She suffers from Alzheimer's, and had to be moved into a memory care unit. I had a photo book created for her with many of the photos from the memorial video so she can carry it around with her and look at the photos as much as she wants without needing help. I struggled so hard to find the perfect gift for her, and shopping for solely her and not my dad is killing me.

My kids are coming down for Christmas and I can't wait. We decided to forego the traditional turkey and ham for Greek food, in honor of my dad. My oldest son and I will be making baklava and Kourabiedes (Greek butter cookies) this week, and Christmas dinner will be pastitsio, spanakopita, and lemon and herb roasted chicken. The boys are bringing their girlfriends it will be a packed house for sure.

Dad teaching the boys how to make baklava
Dad teaching the boys how to make baklava

While my son and I can make some absolutely delish baklava, my dad's version of the dessert will always be the best. My kids always wanted me to sell it, and my youngest son actually made me a sign in woodshop to hang on the wall. The sign reads "Sweet Nuts" and I am just in love with it. The last time I made the butter cookies, I could almost feel the burning disapproval from my mom for using a stand mixer and she wasn't even here! She was big on stirring by hand or the entire batch gets ruined. Next week I just might do it the old-fashioned way as a shout out to my mom. I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas, a happy and healthy New Year!

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