Tuesday, December 22, 2015

More For The Pups. Less For The Humans.

Christmas baking has always been a big deal for me and something I looked forward to. This is the time of year I make and bake a selection of baked goods that are reserved for Christmas. The entire process takes 2 solid days. In the days leading up to my Christmas Bake Fest, I make my lists, check them twice and pick a night to shop for ingredients and supplies. Despite hitting sales and gathering most of the goods where the prices are reasonable, the total is right around $150-$200.

Once the baking is done, I break out the Christmas platters, buckets, and other festive containers. Each is filled with an assortment of fresh baked Christmas treats. Wrap. Attach Christmas cards to most. When all is said and done, there's a little over 2 dozen scrumptious Christmas bundles to be delivered.

Over the past few years, the amount of bundles and platters we hand out has dwindled. We have our reasons...none of which has anything to do with the money spent or time involved. It has everything to do with expectations, lack of gratitude and those who had the audacity to critique the size of their bundle and contents within.

"How come you didn't make this or that?"

"Last year my bundle was much bigger."

"I wish you would have made those peanut butter truffles. Those are my favorite."

Christmas of 2014 was the first year I dreaded the two days of baking and, even more so, spending almost $200 for baking ingredients and supplies. As I made my way through the aisles, flirting with shopping-cart-road-rage, there was a sense of dread pinging my nerves.

Why am I doing this for people who barely acknowledge my existence and can't personally reach out to say thank you?

The 2 days I spent baking were borderline miserable. Aside form the handful of friends who genuinely appreciate their goodies, the rest...I wasn't exactly feeling the joyous Christmas spirit of giving.

A bottle of wine took care of that.

Towards the end of last month, and after several discussions with Lisa, I made a decision. We aren't doing it this year. It almost felt naughty. I ripped up the various lists that hung on the refrigerator. Recipients. Ingredients. Supplies. Tentative dates for delivering.

Instead of baking hundreds of cookies, dozens of chocolate covered confections, and pounds of fudge, and spending 2 entire days and evenings doing this, we were going to extend our bake time for the shelter pups. More holiday biscuit love. More pound pups receiving biscuits. More happy shelter babies.

That's exactly what we did. And, it was wonderful!

Today, I spent about 6 hours making decadent Christmas treats for a handful of friends...a few who we consider family. I rolled and dipped cookie truffle balls, sipped wine, whipped up a double batch of peppermint bark, sipped more wine, made cookies, sipped more wine.

I now have Dip & Sip mastered.

You know what? There was no guilt. The handful of gourmet treat baskets we created were awesome. In addition to the homemade treats, we included coffee, mugs and other odds and ends. The recipients were thrilled.

I love that.

We're going to continue with this trend. Indefinitely.

No comments:

Post a Comment