- October 21, 2013
- Posted by: Sharon Greenthal
- Category: family
Most of the year, the empty nest is good.
Though I miss my kids when I don’t see them or hear from them often enough, my husband and I have adapted quite nicely to a home that’s just the two of us and our dogs. But somewhere around mid-October, I start to feel the emptiness a little bit more, as the holiday season begins, and it continues all the way through the new year.
Here are 15 things I miss.
- There are no bags of Halloween candy to rummage through in search of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
- It’s not much fun to carve a pumpkin without kids.
- Because there’s no pumpkin carving, there are no roasted, salted pumpkin seeds.
- Decorations look pretty but there’s no one wide-eyed and excited by it all.
- There are no little faces to sit with and watch the holiday specials, especially anything Peanuts-related.
- *There’s no excuse for me to bake as often as I would like (love).
- There are no kids to help with the Thanksgiving meal prep, which seems to take nearly the entire month of November.
- There are no teens to send out for forgotten ingredients for the Thanksgiving meal prep. This is a major inconvenience.
- Gifts for grown kids tend to be of the large, expensive variety, which keeps shopping to a minimum. For most, this would be a benefit, but for me, it’s not as much fun.
- Saying the blessing over the Hanukkah candles is kind of blah without children’s voices.
- Likewise, lighting the candles without giving gifts to excited little children afterward lacks a little something.
- As a dual-religion household, I loved filling my kids and their cousins’ stockings for Christmas morning. Not as much fun anymore.
- No handmade gifts from little kids with handprints or scribbles.
- The homes decorated with lights, reindeer, Santas and more, while still delightful, are little less magical without sharing them with a child.
- Giving to those less fortunate during the holidays was an opportunity to remind my kids how nice their lives were. And still are.
*Though I don’t bake as much as I’d like, I bake whenever I’m asked to bring something to a party or dinner – and one of the most popular cookies I make are these sweet and spicy cookies from Cooking Light.
MEXICAN CHOCOLATE COOKIES
5 ounces bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate, coarsely chopped
3.4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash black pepper
Dash ground red pepper
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Place chocolate in a small glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. COOL to room temperature.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through ground red pepper); stir well with a whisk.
4. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat well. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla; beat just until blended. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended. Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets line with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until almost set. Remove from oven. Cool on pans 2 minutes or until set. Remove from pans; cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 32 cookies.