Tag Archives: pretzel treats

Making Spirits Bright

I don’t remember when I first “found out” about Santa, but I do know that I kept on pretending long after that day. Part of it was because I didn’t want to stop believing in something so magical and fun, and part of it was because I didn’t want my mom to be bummed.

She was always incredible about keeping the magic alive, wrapping the gifts in different paper, writing in different handwriting, putting reindeer food on the deck, etc. There isn’t a Christmas from my early childhood that I don’t remember being special in some way. Along with traditions and large family gatherings, I also had that youthful innocence that made everything seem merry and bright.

Now, at age 31, I have to admit that I’ve become a bit cynical about the holidays.

Between the loss of traditions and large family gatherings, the rampant and unnecessary consumerism, no holiday break, a dash of deep depression and being forced to listen to “So This Is Christmas” while waiting in the doctor’s office, I would much rather just skip to January 2 when (relative) normalcy can reoccur.

I know, I know. Ba humbug.

But last Saturday night my mom was at it again, this time at the home with the old people. She came armed with two strings of colored lights, two dozen foam ornaments/treat bags I made the night before and a few other decorative things.

wreaths

More arts and crap.

My grandma, stuck in her bed and out of her mind, delighted in the simple addition of one string of lights to her window, to the new snowman candy dish, to the battery-operated candle, to our off-key duet of “Jingle Bells” complete with (requested and stereotypical Polish white girl) dance moves.

And so was Jerry, the man who lives in the room right next door to my grandma.

His room, stark and empty in contrast to that of my grandma’s, soon was adorned with one string of lights, a battery-operated candle and a foam wreath and gingerbread man (he didn’t request the duet.) The look on his face—usually stoic and hard—was enough to make all spirits bright.

He had us move his wheelchair to the center of the room and turn off the lamp so he could sit there and stare at the lights, and he kept telling us how wonderful it was, how happy that string of lights made him. As we walked out the door and back into the hall, I couldn’t have agreed with him more.

Young or old, the magic’s still there as long as you choose to believe.*

*Off-key duet of “Jingle Bells” complete with stereotypical Polish white girl dance moves not required, but I’m pretty sure it couldn’t hurt.

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Arts & Crap

Not that she’s worried about it, but just like Heloise, Martha Stewart can sleep well at night knowing I am in no way going to wrestle her to the ground for her crafty crown.

basket1

I did make these, but we’ll get back to them in a minute.

Let me back up and say that I’m actually kind of artistic. When I was little I was always drawing, painting, changing the interior decorating in my Barbie house or doing something creative with my Tupperware containers full of art supplies.

But as I got older, I traded in my blue box of Mr. Sketch scented markers for sports equipment and foam balls to put in my shirt for impromptu Mariah Carey concerts given on the front lawn. It’s not that I ever lost that creative spark; I just put it on the shelf for a while and replaced it with other forms of artistic expression…like painting my living room and coloring my hair.

With that said, the past couple of years I’ve tried to be crafty in an attempt to also be charitable.

Our senior friends love anything you make for them, so I’ve taken to going to Michael’s and investing a few bucks in “simple” crafts that can be given to the old people.

Before you get too impressed, let me be clear that we’re not talking about intricate needlepoint—I can’t be trusted with sharp objects—but rather a variety of foam decorations that can be displayed or attached to my super simple pretzel treats, also known as geriatric crack.

There have been pumpkins, turkeys, wreaths, hearts—you name it, I’ve foamed it, farmed it out and have the glitter still stuck in my dining room rug to prove it. But the latest project—mini Easter baskets—once again cemented the fact that I am no Martha Stewart.

kit2

Check that. It “super glued” the fact that I am no Martha Stewart.

I artfully placed my supplies on a towel on my dining room table and began crafting, creating little foam Easter baskets from the 132 pieces that were supplied to me, secure in the knowledge printed on the box that no glue was required and anyone over the age of 4 could easily complete the craft.

kit2b

Long story short, I completed the craft only to find out the next night that all the crap that DIDN’T NEED TO BE GLUED had peeled off the baskets and basically fallen off.

basketcrap2

This did not please me. I went to the Dollar Store and got super glue, maniacally gluing each and every piece of foam back to the carefully constructed baskets, holding down each piece for the 15 seconds the tube recommended.

The good news? I only glued my fingers together twice.

The bad news? It took me entirely too long to do a simple craft that some lunatic in the foam factory thinks a 4-year-old could do with NO GLUE and I found a leftover sticky foam flower stuck to the ass of my yoga pants a couple hours later.

donebasket

Plus, things still kind of peeled off.

But when you add in pretzel treats stuffed into Easter bags from the Dollar Store, you have an inexpensive, festive, chocolaty treat for a bunch of old people who probably won’t notice a slightly detached flower petal due to cataracts and a “go-for-the-chocolate” crazed look in their eyes.

So to summarize, I’m artistically somewhere between Martha Stewart and a 4-year-old and I deal out geriatric crack (pretzel treats) in super glued foam Easter baskets.

I do believe Martha is safe. 

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