Monday, November 27, 2023

And So It Begins

Hanukkah begins early this year.  Thanksgiving was early this year, too.  By a fortuitous set of calendar connected circumstances there's a week between turkey and December, and another week before the celebration of the Maccabee's victory over the desecrators of the Temple.  There's a whole month of weeks before we celebrate a baby's birth.

There will be more written about the Hanukkah.  The history resonates.  But, for now, I'm concentrating on my own annual commemoration - not of partisans over occupiers and the oily miracle that happened there, not of a woman laboring in a manger, but of the people I've connected to over the years.

The Brownie List started when I left Chicago and the women with whom I raised my children.  Those were connections I couldn't sever.  I gifted them all stationary (there wasn't email in 1992) which none of them ever used to communicate with me.  I did the same thing when I left Marin in 2006, with the same result.  

I refused to lose contact with those who had filled my life with joy and adventures and advice and love.  A simple Happy Holidays card would not be enough to maintain those connections; a card with a short note can easily be smiled at and forgotten.  But if I bake and package and ship you brownies, a more serious response is called for.  

And so, The Brownie List was created.  Not-Kathy says the holidays don't start until my brownies arrive; she and Dr K have been on the list since its inception.  She understands the rules - if you don't connect with me after the contents have been consumed (or frozen for future delectability) you're off the list.  There's a one year grace period before your name is stricken, but that's it.

It works.

The list is now four pages long.  People understand the procedures.  Every year I am the recipient of heartfelt thank you's and details that aren't included in a pre-printed Happy Holidays photograph adorned card. It's my way of maintaining long distance relationships, and it works.

Sunday was a day for baking and wrapping and printing out 17 USPS labels .
Monday is a day for packing and shipping the first installment of Hanukkah goodies (once I pick up bubble wrap).  
my shadow and supplies

Using a medium size priority mail box adds many extra dollars (thank you,Mr. DeJoy, for not adding a holiday surcharge this year) to an already pricey endeavor. Hence, the bubble wrap.  Layer upon layer protects the treats, and my friends receive a bulgy envelope, a package which brngs laughter all on its own.

There will be pans of brownies in the kitchen from now until the first of the year.  Those are free game to anyone passing through, unless they are already in their pretty packaging.  Touching those brings the wrath of the Brownie Fairy down upon the miscreant's head.  

It's all consuming.  It's my favorite time of the year.


  1. Oh those brownies are the best! Hands down.

  2. Thank you for explaining. I have wondered about the history and how it works. And it works! And they are labors of love.


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