4 days is still plenty of time to shop for gifts

Ho, Ho, Ho! Christmas is really going to happen this week-end, whether I am ready or not.

I have not done very much shopping yet but I figure I still have 4 whole days left.

Plenty of time.

I usually start shopping for Christmas at the beginning of each year.

I get stocking stuffers mostly, when I find something funny or can get a good deal on multiples, as there are a lot of us.

Unfortunately, by the time Christmas gets here, I have forgotten what all I’ve bought and where I hid it.

We siblings don’t exchange gifts anymore, but we do have a rather lively Stocking Opening Extravaganza.

My brothers would hate that I used that word to describe anything they are involved with. Even better reason to use it.

And it usually ends up being the craziest, funniest time of the entire holiday.

We Cookes, and spouses and various guests, are a crazy bunch. And if you do not possess a sense of humor, you will be by the time you leave.

Sister-in-law Deb is bringing a new friend this Christmas.

Deb said “She’s skinny and her doctor wants her to gain weight so I figured what better place to bring her than to a Cooke gathering.”

Okay, that is just wrong on so many levels.

First of all, is that even true? I thought doctors wanting anyone to gain weight was an urban legend.

Secondly, like Christine told her “She’s skinny? Well, we are going to be mean to her then.”

Of course, we won’t really be that mean to her. I mean, how skinny could she really be?


We held our annual Reporter Christmas party last week and Dad got a gift from Linda Whorton that was very tasty.

Homemade goodies are always great gifts!

Here is the recipe from Linda:

Spicy Crackers

1 box saltine crackers

(cheapest brand, not Nabisco or fat-free)

1-1/3 cups canola oil

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch original salad dressing mix (Not dip mix).

Stack crackers in a container with a tight lid so they are standing on their sides.

Mix remaining ingredients together and keep mixing as you pour over crackers.

Put lid on container and gently flip container over once every 15 minutes for 1 hour.

Spread coated crackers out on paper towels to drain off excess oil. Store in sealable plastic bags, or air tight containers.


Merry Christmas to all of you and sincere thanks for all of your support this past year!

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2011-12-22 digital edition

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