Crumpet the Elf, TBCPE, Festivus, Luci Shaw, Cookies

Being short on Christmas cheer is mostdefinitelyNOT sohotrightnow. Conversely, these things are very hottt right now:

The Santaland Diaries,” by David Sedaris — before there was Buddy, there was Crumpet.  Sedaris’ chronicles of his short-lived stint as a holiday elf in Macy’s in NYC launched his writing career.  Listen to the author read an excerpt from this hilarious neo-holiday classic here.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (B. Robinson) — This is perhaps one of the best Christmas books ever. The Herdmans are a rowdy bunch, but a rowdy bunch of sweethottnesses, to be sure.

...I thought about the Angel of the Lord — Gladys, with her skinny legs and her dirty sneakers sticking out from under her robe, yelling at all of us, everywhere: ‘Hey! Unto you a child is born!’

Festivus — it’s for the rest of us.

Since she was a girl, Luci Shaw writes a poem each year reflecting on the Incarnation.  A few years ago, she compiled some from her personal collection and published them in the collection Accompanied by Angels.  They are beautiful. Read some excerpts here.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies — truth: last week we got a voicemail soon after dropping off a plate of these at a friend’s house stating, “Please send more cookies! I ate them all last night, and my son is mad that he didn’t get any. Those cookies were OFF THE CHAIN.”


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. cocoa
  • 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c. coarsely crushed peppermint candy (~ 8 large candy canes)


  • Beat butter until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well
  • Add eggs (1 at a time), beating until blended after each addition; stir in vanilla
  • Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, beating until blended
  • Fold in chocolate chips and peppermint candy
  • Bake at 350F for 12 – 14 minutes