and all through the house there was baking and wrapping (some grumbles and grouse) the ingredients were laid on the counters with care in hopes that jude's quick hands would soon be right there the cookies were nestled all sung on their sheets while visions of candied nuts ran at jude's feet and jude in her apron and her pjs and robe was hovering over all 4 burners of the preheated stove. when right be her ear there arose such a clatter that she leaped for her oven mitt and checked on the batter away to the oven I grabbed cookie sheets pulled out some macaroons and turned down the heat the light on the golden brown cocount crust soon cooled to a chocolater coating like dust when what to my wondering lips should appear but a slight hint of almond; the taste was quite dear. more rapid than eagles, her candies they came and she folded and whisked and called them by name "now tea cakes! now thumbprints! now shortbreads and bark! on bizcochitos! on spritzes! on white, milk, and dark! get coating the pretzels! get coating the oreos! now roll them in sprinkles your daughter ador-e-os!" as cool as the cookies that come in a box our cute little shortbreadsd, like stockings and socks so into the tupperware the candies they flew with a box full of chocolate bark and candied nuts too. and then in a twinkle i heard in the kitchen the timer go off, knew it was time for some gittin' as i put on my mitt and was turning around out of the oven wafted aan aroma unbound it was chocolate and sweet, and vanilla and salt and lovely fruits, herbs, and spices, with a slight hint of malt. a bundle of nonpariels lay on the tray just awating the pretzels not yet dipped during this day. the sweets, how they glistned! the cndies, how daring! the nuts were amazing, the cakes, no comparing! their droll little topes were iced like santa claus and the meringue tops rose proudly, now that they weren't raw. the hint of a cherry lay just neath the top and a bit of a walnut, the cream of the crop. they were golden, and pinkish, and frosted and iced and they begged to be eaten, have one then eat twice. they were sprinkled and frosted and candies and spicy and i couldn't stop eating, theyw ere very nice-y. a crumb and a morsel, a smidgen, a bit soon gave me to know i had made quite a hit! she hummed as she worked, but she stirred with devotion she mixed flour and sugar like a secret potion. and laying her spatula aside of her bowl, and wiping her hands, she completed her goal. she went to the bathroom, gave her hands a rinse. and away washed the grease, the grime and the mint. but i heard her exclam, as she fell in her seat. "merry christmas to all - now go away, i'm plain beat! BUT.......I accomplished macaroons, chocolate macaroons, cream cheese spritz cookies, shortbreads, candied nuts, spicy and not, spiced nuts, white peppermint bark, milk peppermint bark, and dark cherry-pinon bark. the rest i'll do tomorrow!