What Are You Doing New Year's Eve...and Thanksgiving, and Christmas

Ella Fitzgerald crooning what are you doing New Year's Eve is the melancholy covering all of our 2020 holidays, right?


It's so bad that even the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree pulled a Charlie Brown this year


Did they really have to drag a suicide tree down from upstate this year?  This looks like my hair after 2 months on NY Pause.  Poor tree.  

But Thanksgiving is next week so I'll begin there.  Thanksgiving does not hold the magic of Christmas for me, and since my family went full MAGA, I really wasn't going to attend anyway.  It's been going downhill long before Trump though.  My brothers both got married.  The eldest one has two huge Newfoundlands that drool all over the place, and I can't eat there.  The younger one married a younger woman and thinks he's so hip by transference that he began a tradition of spending Thanksgiving with their best friends, two trump cons who also hilariously believe themselves young and hip. 

Thanksgiving 2013-2015 I went to my boyfriend's family home in Massachusetts.  I hated it.   I mean, I thought my family's a mess. 

I really prefer staying home, watching the parade which I LOVE, and then watching Christmas movies.  Add in some champagne cocktails and that's the perfect day for me.   

I make some orange stuffing and bake a pie.   I really don't miss all the screaming and yelling.  There's always drama in my family.  And my family is loud.  Very loud.

Last year I spent the day with my best friend's family, and as it unfortunately turned out to be her father's last Thanksgiving, I am so glad that I did.  

But staying home for Thanksgiving during the year of the Covid, not really a big sacrifice for me.  I'm not a smug married tweeting about how "we'll be alone for Thanksgiving this year, but we're happy to make the sacrifice".

When you use "we'll" you're not alone.  I get it though, they are forgoing Thanksgiving with their children or grandchildren.  Don't @ me, I get it.  I'm just saying.  There are a lot of people out there who are really alone.  I feel for them.  I almost feel guilty for being happy to spend Thanksgiving alone this year.

I'll have It's A Wonderful Life on, and then Miracle on 34th Street.  Don't scream at me, but I also love Love Actually, and yeah, I consider it a Christmas movie.  Hey, so is Die Hard!  Fact.  

Obviously I don't do Black Friday.  I say obviously because I have been able to write this blog, right?  Can insane people write this much and maintain coherence?   And maintain coherence is the key part there, so don't go throwing Breitbart or some other loon in my face.  I'm not the living embodiment of a meth lab accident.  

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I like to put up all my Christmas decorations.  Then that weekend I will throw out all of the fattening leftovers and remove the load of clothes hanging on my Peloton and swear I'm going to lose 10lbs by Christmas.  

The short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas will be filled with baking, even though I'm not having anyone over this year.  I will drop off batches of Christmas cookies to some people.   I'll take pictures and post recipes for you, but here is the cookie that the most people always ask me to make.  I never would have guessed this one when I first began baking.   But they actually are quite delicious. 

Lemon Wreath Cookies

For the Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For the Glaze

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 7 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 4 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white nonpareils, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cookies: Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Pulse sugar and zest in a food processor until combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Beat sugar-zest mixture and butter in a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until combined.
  3. Scoop 1 tablespoon dough (or use a 11/8-inch ice cream scoop), and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 4-inch rope. Bring ends together, overlapping slightly, and press together to form a ring. Repeat with remaining dough. Transfer rings to parchment-lined baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart, as you work. Bake until pale golden on the bottoms and around the edges, about 18 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool.
  4. Make the glaze: Whisk together confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Dip the top side of each cookie into glaze, letting excess drip off. Return cookies to wire racks, glaze side up, and sprinkle with nonpareils. Let dry completely.

Give them a try!  I'll totally post pics the day I make these.  You can drop off some to family and friends even if you aren't able to spend the day with them for obvious reasons.  Keep the faith, and we'll all be here for next Christmas.  That's the mission peeps.  Be here next year.  

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