Mexican wedding cookies. Beef stew. Fudge that is always grainy, despite every attempt otherwise.
This, to me, is what Christmas tastes like.
I’m the kind of person who is wary to listen to Christmas music until we’ve hit the double-digits of December. Then I go full-force into the holiday, obsessing each year over a different Christmas song, singing it at length despite the fact I sound like a dying animal. Each encore is filled with snacking.
I have been lucky enough this year to stumble into Christmas parties of excessive cheer. Moving to a new city can be rough, especially around the holidays. Knowing I won’t be going home for Christmas is also pretty difficult to swallow, but there is kindness all around me from friendly, sweet people who hardly know me and love me anyway.
I hit up my first Christmas party of the season and found myself surrounded by the hippest, most Portland-esque crowd of all time. Everyone had animal tattoos and wore mostly black and neutral. We played Heads Up! and drank hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows and all met each other for the first time. The season roared to life.
My goal is to bring the holiday to me, cooking all of my family favorites. It’s my way of being home without really being home. Stay tuned for some killer beef stew and probably something with red-hots.
(My grandmother quit smoking by eating red hots, and now puts them on all of our Christmas cookies.)
And for those of you who are even mildly curious about my obsessive Christmas song for 2015, it’s She & Him’s version of the Christmas Waltz. Give it a listen. Feel the joy.