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‘Twas the Night Before Fake Christmas…

Posted Dec 20 2010 9:34am

Saturday?

Was a nightmare.

Eric and I are not at the point where we’ll give up Christmas with our families, so we’re both going home to our respective states this weekend. (As a compromise we’re coming back to Houston next week to spend New Year’s Eve together.) Since we’ll be hundreds of miles away from each other on Christmas, we decided to have Fake Christmas on Sunday.

Which made Saturday Fake Christmas Eve.

And I should have known better than to do any shopping on Christmas Eve, real or imaginary.

I thought I was going to be OK doing my Christmas shopping late because I was doing it all online. Except…I forgot to account for the other kind of shopping: decorations, tape, wrapping paper, bows, food. When I headed out on Saturday morning, seriously lacking sleep, and my list included THE MALL and WAL-MART, I should have known it was going to be a rough day.

I started my day at Whole Foods for supplies for vanilla sugar . While vanilla beans are pricey, the whole gift is pretty inexpensive, and I decided some people were worth it. Plus, Whole Foods usually puts me in a good mood. I was thoroughly cheery when I left.

I went to the mall next, which, despite being busy, was at least under control, so I was able to get in and out without any pain.

The only downside? The mall doesn’t have a Starbucks and I was really sleepy and needed to perk up. I drove 10 minutes in the other direction to Starbucks — past Wal-Mart, my next stop — where I sat in the drive-thru line for twenty minutes. I didn’t even know that was possible.

Then I had to backtrack to go to Wal-mart…but you can’t just make a left turn around these parts, so I had to loop all the way around, and of course I missed Wal-Mart and had to circle around again to get back to it.

I was cranky when I got to Wal-mart.

And going to Wal-Mart when cranky isn’t a good idea, is it?

I kept repeating to myself, “Be in the Christmas spirit, Rachel. What would Jesus do?” But then I just kept hearing the Daniel Tosh bit when he answers that question with, “So I lit everyone on fire and sent them to hell.”

Bitches need to learn to use self-checkout, yo. That’s all I’m sayin.

Wal-Mart didn’t have stocking hooks or good wrapping paper, so I went to Hob Lob. And…Hob Lob let me down! No good bows. I had to go back to Target (which is right by the mall and contains a Starbucks OF COURSE).

When I got to Target, normally my happy place, I was on the brink of a meltdown. I really needed wrapping paper. I usually go with plain brown craft paper, tied with brown string, but I had picked out a fancier version — plain brown craft paper with subtle stripes — the night before. After failing to find a bow, I didn’t think I could find any ribbons to match it at Target, so I decided to return it and pick out a new roll. Everything was so picked over; I circled the wrapping paper area for 30 minutes, worrying my eggs were spoiling in the car, trying to find a paper I liked and a bag of bows that matched that didn’t cost $5. (I mean, I needed one bow.) I’d find a paper I liked, but no bows to match. Eventually, I just ended up re-buying the paper I had bought the night before and a roll of pretty burgundy ribbon that was $6 to go with it.

Shopping on Fake Christmas Eve comes with a price.

When I finally wrapped Eric’s gifts, I did like the final effect…I just don’t know if achieving it was worth the spike in my blood pressure.

After my five pissed-off hours of shopping, I finally relaxed a bit when I started baking treats. I haven’t felt like baking much this Christmas season (thanks, palm trees!), but my old instincts finally kicked in this weekend, and I caught up on some recipes I’d been wanting to make.

I made peppermint bark and gingerbread cookies for Eric’s stocking.

Gingerbread stars — because a man-shaped cookie cutter was just too much to ask for on December 18.

And for Fake Christmas breakfast the next morning, I made cranberry walnut orange bread .

That bread? Is a recipe worth gifting this week. I might make a couple more loaves this week. Fresh cranberries aren’t going to be around much longer, so I suggest making extra and freezing it — you’re going to want that for brunch in a few months.

I was so busy and crabby all day, I actually forgot to eat. I had breakfast before heading out, but then my latte from Starbucks was all that sustained me for the rest of the day. I got home and planned to eat, but I just wanted to start baking, so I nibbled at a leftover sandwich for a minute, before abandoning it to melt more butter into the gingerbread. By the time I finished baking, wrapping, and collecting all the food, decorations, and presents to head to Eric’s, it was 10 PM. And it finally dawned on me that I was famished.

Nothing like a romantic Fake Christmas Eve dinner from Taco Bell to really get you in the holiday spirit, right?

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