This magic moment (or Wow. I really love my Christmas tree.)

We put our Christmas tree up over the weekend and I am completely enamored.

As Amy posted a few days ago, my kids all have small trees they put up in their bedrooms with their own ornaments (yes, artificial - I'm really over that whole vacuuming-pine-needles-for-months thing =D).  I'm not being a cool mom or anything by letting them have their own trees.  It's just that I like to decorate the big tree differently each year.  See? Completely mercenary.  So this year it's all red and white and gold and I am in love. (sigh)

I put on some instrumental Christmas music and was just sitting and staring and drinking in the beauty.  (Okay, so maybe the whole sitting and staring thing has more to do with my exhaustion level, but that's not important right now. =D)

Can it get any better than this?

Well, actually it did.

The kids were baking while I was in my little I-love-my-Christmas-tree cocoon.  And . . . this is the really great part . . . they wouldn't even let me in the kitchen!  (Shut. up. I know.)

So, in addition to my I'm-drunk-with-Christmas-beauty moment.  The house smells like fresh cookies!  I totally got a preview of what heaven will be like.  I swear.

They baked my favorite Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, and even though I don't like nuts and I really don't like peanut butter, I could eat these all day long because they are amazing.  And okay, I'm not really supposed to be eating chocolate, but c'mon!


Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

1/2 cup butter - softened
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg - slightly beaten
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 bags Hershey's kisses

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into the peanut butter mixture.
3) Make small balls of dough. Really small. Like less than an inch in diameter.
4) Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cookies look cracked. 
5) While the cookies are baking, unwrap the number of kisses you need to match the number of cookies baking. 
6) When the cookies come out of the oven, quickly push a kiss into the center of each.
7) Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.
8) The chocolate will melt completely when it comes in contact with the hot cookie, even though the kiss maintains its shape, but don't worry, they will harden again when they're completely cool.

However, it's really important that you try at least one hot cookie with the melted chocolate. Just trust me on this. ;-)

Meanwhile back to my idyllic I'm-so-in-love-with-my-Christmas-tree moment:

Kenny G on the stereo (don't judge me).  Plate of my favorite freshly baked cookies in front of me.  Bustelo in my cup.  My oh-so-incredibly-beautiful tree before me.  Magical.  ;-)

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.  In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall."

~ Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas