Once upon a time – before I worked in retail – the cookie baking was very organized. That was then, this is now… It’s December 21st, and we’re ALMOST finished. This is the latest we’ve ever been still baking cookies! Oh well… It keeps me off the streets…

A few misshaps, like the whole tray of walnut cookies that broke, but since we always eat the mistakes, anyway, it has a happy ending!

We have been rolling and cutting, filling and dipping whenever a spare moment arrived – and there haven’t been enough of them!

Today I make the Amaretti and Aunt Dolores’ Rum Balls, and then start dipping and decorating in earnest.

And while all of this was going on, we had another panic going on in the house. We lost a present!! Now, we have a bit of a reputation for opening presents early. We go to Victor’s sister’s for Christmas, and we don’t want to lug everything up there, so… we open early. Okay… there is a REASON to open presents early… One can LOSE them if one doesn’t!

Bowing to peer pressure, we decided NOT to open Victor’s Secret Santa present early. What a mistake. Three days of panic have ensued. Simply put… we put the presents under the tree with our gifts and things we had to mail out. We were being good little boys. We packed up all the stuff to mail out – and then noticed the small present from Victor’s fabulous and wonderful Secret Santa was missing! Can we say “Panic” boys and girls?!?

What to do… What to do?!? We thought for sure it had gotten into a box headed west! Oh my gawd! What if it was like a sex toy sent to my father?!? (Well – he could probably use one, but I digress…) A lost present is like one of the worst things in the world. We felt like shit.

Early this morning we took one more look for it – AND WE FOUND IT!!! It was UNDER the tree skirt!!!

We were so excited we opened them!

It’s an “A Christmas Story” lamp and a really cool ashtray from “All Things Sicilian.” Life is good!