While I don't like to decorate early, I do like to begin preparations early. My first son, Luke, was born October 4 and that year I realized in November that I must get my shopping done early because there was no way I wanted to be in the stores with a 2-month old baby in December. This has been my rule ever since.
This weekend I finished up the main part of my Christmas shopping. The only difficulty in buying early is the temptation to buy more, so to work around that I leave stocking stuffers to be bought in December.
This weekend was busy with general winter preparations. Jim cleaned the garage so now I can park my car indoors. Lovely man. He has saved me precious minutes in the morning spent scraping and waiting for my car to defrost. Every morning, Dexter and I go to the local off-leash dog park to exercise and socialize. It's a commitment, but we both benefit. So I really do need every moment in the morning.
I am on the cusp of finishing Jim's Urban Aran. The poor guy has been feeling the cold lately. I've worked hard on it all weekend, but not in time to post it for you today. The fit seems good and I'm really looking forward to seeing what it looks like washed up. Yes, I seam with out washing first. Mattress stitch seems as easy as doing up shoelaces to me and I'm too impatient to wait for the thing to dry once I've finished knitting.
The other thing we did this weekend is make our one, traditional, holiday goody: Rum Balls. It has been written in stone that every holiday must have Rum Balls. Each year, we have them in a cut glass dish so they look elegant. Plus, we have a fun little family party when we roll them.
This year, I thought I'd get a jump on it since they freeze so well. To store them, I've got them in plastic containers and then double wrapped. Perhaps you'd like to get an early start on the season too? If so, here's my recipe:
Chocolate Rum Balls
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 eggs slightly beaten
pinch of salt
1 3/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
2 tbsp dark rum
Combine butter, icing sugar and chocolate chips in a double boiler. Add beaten eggs and salt. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture thickens and is smooth. Remove from heat and add rum and crumbs. Combine well. Refrigerate at least three hours. Shape into balls; roll in chocolate shavings, coconut or nuts.
Every person who helps roll gets a rum ball for their efforts.