Here are two of the more successful activities of our holiday season, in case you would like to add them to your own repertoire (things I was going to put in my last post until my phone kept crashing whenever I tried to upload a picture, threatening to eat up all my allotted typing time with technical tooth-gnashing):
1. Salt dough ornaments
(Incidentally, this inability either to follow or give helpful instructions is one of the many reasons I will never be a craft/food blogger).
We rolled the dough out, cut it with cookie cutters, then used a straw to make holes for string to hang the ornaments. Then we slapped them on a cookie sheet and baked at 200 degrees for two hours (while I took Simone to her first play date, where she suddenly came over all clingy and refused to let me leave).
The decorating started out freeform, with no direction, and then I let Simone copy my step-by-step process to paint a snowman, and I think that small bit of structure resulted in my favorite ornaments. Still Simone-y but also recognizable.
2. How to host a holiday party that will become a beloved annual tradition
Every year, my mother throws a party called CHRISTMAS EVE IN THE DRUNK TANK, the main event of which, as you have probably gleaned, is a fairly raucous sing-a-long to the Pogues song Fairytale of New York. It is always a highlight of the season, for me. And it can be for you, too! You will need:
A recording of The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York
Lyric Sheets (only necessary at first, but nice to have as a crutch against drunkenness even in later years)
If you have enough people, it is nice to have the men do the man’s part and the women the woman’s.
A marvelous time virtually guaranteed to be had by all, so long as you remember not to start the singing until everyone has been sufficiently macerated in their beverage of choice. Oh, and speaking of singing: don’t worry when things inevitably fall apart during the fast(er) section. Everyone will catch up and be back in fine form indeed by the time the verse rolls around to “The Boys of The NYPD Choir, etc.” We are really quite impressive at that bit.