on the next day.

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I am a big fan of boxing day.

First of all, it’s my sister’s birthday, so it seems only natural to greet the 26th of December with nearly as much fanfare as the 25th.

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Also, there is something about the energy on the day after Christmas that I just adore: the house is slightly disheveled, with the detritus of yesterday’s gifting and feasting and drinking still lingering about, but it’s not so painfully messy that I feel I have to get up from the couch – and the new novel I just started – and actually deal with it.

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We seem as a family to be moving around in a haze of love this week, all goodwill toward one another (read: a remarkable, if no doubt short-lived, absence of sibling strife) and small moments of joy, and none of the high anxiety-slash-anticipation inherent in the big day.

There have been many videos watched. I’ve nearly gone blind putting together a pair of Lego superheroes. We’ve skated and sledded. The sun has come out.

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There is an abundance of food in the fridge and wine in the cupboard, amazing leftovers (if I do say so myself) and enough residual holiday spirit to make a batch of these cookies, which, it must be said, may actually be the best cookies I have ever made.

Chocolate Ginger Cookies
adapted from Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook

1/2 c soft unsalted butter
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c dark molasses
1 1/2c all purpose flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
8 oz. (240g) dark chocolate, chopped
coarse granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Add flour to butter mixture and beat until just combined.

Stir in chopped chocolate.

Pour a cup or so of sugar onto a plate.

Scoop up a tablespoon of dough and use your hands to roll it into a ball. Dredge in coarse sugar before placing on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough – I got two pans os 15 cookies each when I made these.

Bake cookies one sheet at a time, in the centre of the oven, until surface is cracked and they are barely dry at the edges, about 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet.

Eat with abandon.

Makes 30 cookies.

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oh the weather outside is frightful.

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Friends, it’s happening! Winter is here.

While my intolerance for the cold is well-documented, neither it nor the icy, miserable conditions outdoors can dampen my enthusiasm for the holidays, which are, as they say, just around the corner.

Like the rest of you, I am occupied with a long list of happy-making tasks.

While I huddle indoors, shopping on-line and wrapping and baking and getting a hand cramp from the last-minute addressing of Christmas cards (which, yes, should have gone out long before now), I hope you will amble over to the Marion House Book.

I was lucky enough to write a guest post for Emma, luckier still to have Kristin Sjaarda come to photograph the quirky Christmas mantel I styled for our place, and I am thrilled to stake a small claim in the bounty of aesthetic goodness that happens over there.

Please have a look, and then I’ll meet you back here, sooner than soon, ok?

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