Carded

I knew it was coming.

I mean, obviously.

December comes every single year.

And yet, somehow, every year it sneaks right up and surprises the bejeezus out of me.

And now that the Christmas season apparently starts the week before Thanksgiving, I’m already behind on my holiday to-do list.

I love almost everything about the most wonderful time of   the year.

Almost.

I HATE writing Christmas cards.

I hate the whole process.

Paying $20 bucks for flimsy card stock.

Hand writing personal messages that allude to the fact that I have some semblance of an idea what you do the other 364 days of the year.

Trying to remember how to spell your kids’ names.

Paying another $20 bucks for stamps.

Harassing my sister with 17 panicked e-mails begging her to send me my entire family’s addresses.

Yes, again.

I didn’t save the list you sent last year.

Or the year before that.

You people that send photo cards are onto something.

Except I think I hate getting my picture taken more than I hate writing Christmas cards.

But I love GETTING Christmas cards.

LOVE IT.

I love the pictures, the warm wishes, the way I secretly analyze your personality based on your card selection.

So here’s how it’s going to work this year.

32 Christmas cards are signed, sealed, and stamped.

When I get a Christmas card in the mail, I’ll use the return address on the envelope to address one of my pre-signed Christmas cards and send it on it’s Merry way.

It saves time.

It saves carpal tunnel syndrome.

It saves that secret resentment that you KNOW you have when you send someone a Christmas card and they don’t send you one back.

Call it Grinchy.

Call it Scroogy.

Call it selfish.

Or call it brilliant.

Kind of like combining cranberries and barbecue sauce.

I know, I know.

My husband gave me that same look.

I get that look a lot.

But this time of year is all about believing in things that seem totally unbelievable.

Ahem, fat jolly guys traveling around the entire world in one night delivering presents to every single child on the planet.

Yes, I just compared Santa Claus and barbecue sauce.

And the sauce has the edge.

CRANBERRY BBQ SAUCE

1 (12 oz) package fresh cranberries

1 cup apple cider

1/4 cup molasses

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne *

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

salt, to taste

*Tidbit: Omit cayenne for a less spicy sauce.

Heat cranberries and cider in a small saucepan over medium high heat until cranberries pop and break down.

Stir in molasses, maple syrup, ketchup, and seasonings.

Continue cooking until sauce is thick.

Remove from heat and pour sauce through a strainer to remove cranberry pulp.

Sauce will continue to thicken when cooled.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Send recipe cards instead of Christmas cards this year.

Or next year if you’re like me and have already exhausted all your card writing efforts.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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