More Is More
Before we left to head back to Pennsylvania yesterday, I felt myself growing desperate for MORE!!!! More vacation, more time with friends, more time with family, more relaxing, more time with Sophie, more wine, more walks, more laughs…but less food, please. I practically had to zip my jeans with a pair of pliers yesterday morning. Thaaaaat’s attractive.
We flew out early on Saturday morning (6:15, to be precise), which sucked…but, it was nice to be home by 3:00! We had the whole afternoon to pick the dogs up, go to the grocery store, and unpack, which left today totally open for…
Oh Clark. I feel your pain.
I love holiday decorating. Some people are of the mindset that holiday decorations should be classy, streamlined, and minimal. While that may be fine for the Martha Stewarts of the world, I myself am of the mindset that you can never have too much holiday decor. When we have lights streaming outside and in, garland draped on every surface, and miniature reindeer and elves gracing every tabletop, I’ll find a place for one more Santa figurine.
I’m only happy when it looks like Christmas has thrown up all over our house after getting liquored up on eggnog. And even then, I’ll usually find one last place to shove a little tinsel (that’s what she said?).
This is far from a new development.
When I was little, my family would all decorate our tree together, and for about ten years straight, the night always ended in a fight. Either me or my sister– but usually both of us– would storm out of the room in tears.
We take decorating very seriously in my family.
My sister was very much of the minimalist camp when it came to tree decorating. She would hang each ornament very carefully– always judicious, always certain not to overcrowd the branches or place one ornament too close to another.
As you might imagine, that wasn’t really my style.
I loved piling on ornament after ornament. With each new shiny glass ball, I’d feel a rush of excitement. I was usually already hopped up on eggnog, hot chocolate, and sugar cookies, so overdecorating only gave me even more of a buzz. There’s nothing like being six years old, high on sugar and decorations and Johnny Mathis.
Actually, as much as I loved the ornaments, tinsel was really my drug of choice, and year after year, it caused many a Christmas tree showdown between me and my sister. I’d pile gobs and gobs of tinsel on the tree, and she’d follow behind me, promptly taking the piles of silver strands back off. We’d go on like this for a while, blood beginning to rise, until finally someone’s temper would erupt. We’d fight, and scream, and each accuse the other of ruining the Christmas tree. Then, both of us would usually storm off in tears, slamming doors and sulking while my parents finished decorating the tree on their own.
Don’t you just love the holidays?
Anyway…you’d think I would have outgrown my love for holiday decor, but it’s still going strong. We’re going to have lights outside, lights inside, and decorations in every room.
We’ve only gotten started, but here are a few of the decorations we’ve put up so far:
Candy Cane Candles:
Isn’t this guy just the cutest?
This is our dining room:
…and I would like to point out that our centerpiece is actually VERY minimal. I guess maybe I’ve grown up a little after all. Although I’m really fighting the urge to go downstairs right now and wrap some lights around that angel. Or maybe just drape a little tinsel over her wings.
We’re not quite done with the outside yet, but I’ll post a few pictures when all of the lights are up!
* * *
In the spirit of “more is more,” I baked these oatmeal cookies on our last day in Shreveport. I kept adding more and more mix-ins to the batter…but that’s what makes them great!
More is More Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup earth balance
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla
3 cups oats
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used Scharffen Berger)
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325
In a standing mixer (or with a handheld mixer), cream together the Earth balance, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in apple sauce until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
Add dry ingredients to wet slowly, mixing to incorporate. Once all of the dry and wet ingredients are mixed, add the mix-ins and stir well. The batter will be very thick.
Drop batter by the tablespoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, until they are just starting to brown. The cookies will still be very moist when you remove them from the oven, so allow them to sit on the sheets for a while before moving them to cooling racks.
Minimalism, schminimalism. More is definitely more. These are dense, chewy, and full of goodness.
Now that it’s officially the holiday season, what’s your decorating style? Do you prefer the “Santa took a dump on my house” look, like me, or are you more in the “keep it simple” camp?
Some inspiration for next year?
Heck. To. The. Yes.