I had one of the most restful Christmas seasons I can recall in a long time.  I cut way back on commitments and running around.  I only spent $50 on new Christmas decor — a doormat and a cute Santa for the front porch table.  I re purposed the decor I already had and even took some to Goodwill.  I made most of our gifts and cut way back on Miss Bee’s gifts.  I don’t think she believes in Santa anymore, but for fear he may not visit our home if she reveals her disbelief, we stay silent on the subject.  But, I think since this was the first time in 12 years we haven’t left cookies and milk for him, I think that speaks volumes.

What I did do instead was focus more on spending quality time with the hive residents.  I was able to focus on baking, which I love to do, without feeling hurried and exhausted.  I made cinnamon rolls from scratch, which I have never done.  I made coffee cakes and chocolate cakes.  I made a box of cookies and candy to send to my nephew and his girlfriend.  Miss Bee and I had such fun delivering all our goodies the Saturday before Christmas.

The other fun thing we did was a Christmas day scavenger hunt.  This was a tradition when I was growing up.  After we performed the Christmas pageants Earnie used to write for all four kids complete with speaking parts and costumes, she’d give us each clues as to the location of our gifts.  Oh, and she hosted a Christmas Eve party for family and their employees, a Christmas morning brunch for family.  And, after we all left for an afternoon at the movie, whip up a Christmas dinner.  She did all of this and keep an immaculate beehive hairdo and hostess skirt in pristine condition.

This year Miss Bee asked for only one thing:  A phone.  We strung her along telling her we weren’t ready for her to have one, or that we had already maxed out on our phone plan.   Meanwhile, I made up clues for her to find her Christmas bounty…

Clue One in her stocking — We discovered these in Ruidoso last summer.  To not have these frozen treats would be a real bummer.  (in the freezer we put a box of Magnum Caramel bars with Clue 2).

Clue Two — A chore you have to do everyday, the cats and we say hip hip hooray!  (clue three in the kitty litter bag).

Clue Three  — American Girls galore, in Julie’s locker there’s Clue Four.

Clue Four — Just a few more steps if you are able, Santa left a note on Momma’s bedside table

Clue Five — Burgers and steaks we cook on the grill, open the lid but you might get a chill (clue six was in the gas grill on the lanai).

Clue Six — Here’s a key to the neighbors, Mark and Cindy.  Use this bungee it will come in handy (our neighbors graciously agreed to let their kitchen be the site of the treasure.  The bungee was a lame gift exchange gift we passed on to Miss Bee that allows her to connect her phone to her belt loop).

Clue Seven — Once Miss Bee was in the house, on the counter in the kitchen was the wrapped phone box.  She opened the box, but no phone.  Instead was the final clue — One last thing, call his number.  She called the number and behind her on the stairs was the phone ringing in the gift bag!

It was priceless to see her reaction.  Earnie has passed on so many of her gifts.  I’m glad this was one I could pass on to Miss Bee.

Happy New Year!