We weren’t going to put up a tree this year.
All the Christmas decorations that we have carefully collected over ten years of marriage are still on a ship somewhere and it seemed somewhat extravagant to start buying them all over again.
But after seeing the Minx’s joy every time we saw the ‘pitty tree’ down in the lobby of our building, we decided that it had to be done.
After traipsing round loads of shops being rather appalled by the kitchness and cost of most of the decorations we saw, we managed to find some basic gold and ivory baubles in the local drugstore and some surprisingly cheap rolls of wired cranberry and gold ribbons, so that became our colour scheme. (It was surprisingly liberating to have one’s colour scheme dictated by circumstance and surprisingly appropriate since that is mirrormirror’s Christmas wrapping scheme this year.)
A huge box of red and white candy canes and some big wired ribbon bows later, and the tree was looking rather gorgeous-if-I-say-so-myself, though a little ‘corporate’ and lacking in the personality that only comes from lots of different individually collected baubles, each with a story to tell.
So I decided to become an all-American girl and add life to the tree with homemade cookies.
I never really realised what a big deal cookies were in American life. The supermarkets are full of trays of special occasion cookies and the wonderful bake shops here carry hundreds of different cookie cutters in every imaginable shape.
I looked up recipes for ‘sugar cookies’ and found there were hundreds online. I sourced cookie cutters and sugar sprinkles and writing icing in tubes. And then I remembered I didn’t have a rolling pin, so went out to buy one of those. Until finally I was ready for the great cookie bake up.
I chose this recipe, and they tasted delicious to me, though obviously I’m not a cookie aficionado. I then opened up my tubes of writing icing and found that I was supposed to have bought special nozzles to attach to them.
Which is why I ended up icing them using a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off and which is why they look like they’ve been iced by a drunk monkey wearing ski gloves.
The ones in the picture are the only ones that were just about pretty enough to use on the tree. I have omitted to photograph the rejects, which look like they were iced by the Minx.