I decided that since I have four kittens in the house this year that I would be crazy to put a Christmas tree up. Even if it is an artifical tree, I wasn't sure I wanted to wake up every morning/come home from work every evening/run a few errands and come home to 1) ornaments rolling across the floor; 2) kittens balanced on branches; 3) the tree laying on its side, a few times over the season or every day.
What I did do was stop at Lowe's one Saturday morning and ask the fellows trimming trees if I could raid their cut branches bin and take an armful. I made a swag for the front door and dug out a vintage Mason jar where I have half a dozen or so boughs draped in vintage red velvet ribbon and a handful of ornaments. All out of kitten range, of course, on top of a small bookcase.
The 'no Christmas tree' was a wise decision as I discovered that within seconds of taking the photo below, I heard the first ornamnent hit the floor and a walnut go 'swoosh' out of the bowl and onto the tile. Kitten paws have impressive batting power. The attention a makeshift tree garners from out of kitten sight to within kitten range is huge.
There was not a huge amount of baking done this year. Enough to get treats out to family and friends and a very small handful left for myself, though I'm thinking a half recipe of bourbon balls might be coming to fruition in the next few hours. Every year, I try to make something new, something different among the many batches of biscotti and other sweets made. I picked up a slim cookbook a couple of months ago, 'Treasured Honey Recipes' from the California Honey Advisory Board. The Honey Walnut Date Bars was this year's new recipe. I've made them four times this month. And each time they've been devoured. I'm always so happy when a vintage recipe still works after 40+ years.