Christmas cookies are baked, stuffed into tins and tupperware, chilling on the unheated porch.
This year I made the traditional anise flavored decorated sugar cookies, gingerbread men, and a new orange-cranberry cookie recipe that is intensely tart and sweet.
I made chocolate peppermint cookies (two kinds) that involved four attempts and two failures before acceptable chocolate peppermint results were produced.
The tree is up, the wreaths are hung outside, and I finally found the scented balsam candles I bought years ago.
The plane tickets are bought, the beds are made. Prodigal sons just need to arrive.
The step daughter and her husband are hunkering down -- he's recovering from surgery a few days ago -- so we don't know when Christmas with them will occur, but it will occur. Later, but it will occur. Santa says so.
Cards have been sent, donations have been made. UPS has been here every day. Wrapping paper and glitter have been strewn about, and Scotch tape has been stuck to things.
The bread machine has been retrieved from its banishment to the basement years ago, and bread is rising. Cinnamon bread, aromatic and heady and full of sweet carbs.
Blessings have been endowed and blessings have been received. All year long.
I am thankful.
I am ready.