The Almost Last-Minute Gift Guide

Still trying to decide what to get folks for Christmas?  Well time is tickin' away, but you still have a couple weeks to check everybody off your list.  Don't cop out and buy a gift card.  If you hurry, you still have time to order a gift online and have it delivered before Christmas.  Here are a few gift ideas for the special people in your life...

The Almost Last-Minute Gift Guide

Get ready to break whatever pointless detox you're doing between holidays.  My family literally begs for these cookies with wide eyes and extra Tupperware in hand.  Just make a lot and stash some on the side for yourself, because they disappear quickly and people get ruthless real quick and you can't cuss nobody on Christmas, can you?

     
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

     Get ready to break whatever pointless detox you're doing between holidays.  My family literally begs for these cookies with wide eyes and extra Tupperware in hand.  Just make a lot and stash some on the side for yourself, because they disappear quickly and people get ruthless real quick and you can't cuss nobody on Christmas, can you? And while you're at it, make yourself a delicious Christmas Cheer cocktail (or mocktail😉) and start feeling the Christmas spirit.  Whether you're planning a holiday party or watching A Christmas Story for the umpteenth time,  get into these treats and thank me later.  First things first, put on some Christmas music.            Next, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and get out a large saucepan.  Yep, these are stovetop cookies.  Melt 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil in the saucepan.  Or you can use all butter.  Stir in 1 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup of granulate white sugar until very, very smooth. After you let it cool for 10 minutes, add in the following:   1 whole egg + an egg yolk  1 tbsp of vanilla extract  1/4 tsp of almond extract (go easy on this stuff, it's strong!)  1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon  1/4 tsp of fine sea salt   Stir it up, stir it up.    Then add:   10 oz bag of chocolate chips (bittersweet are bomb)  1 cup of dried, unsweetened coconut flake  5 oz of reconstituted, dried sweetened cherries (let them sit in warm water for 15 minutes to plump them up)   Stir some mo.  Get your sheet pans out and start shaping those cookies.  They will look like this     
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

      Now this is importan t: these cookies need to chill out before you bake them!  Put them in the fridge for at least a half hour before you bake them.  You can certainly leave them in overnight and bake them the next day, if you like to plan ahead.  Once they've chilled they will look like this     
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

     Let'em bake for 14-17 minutes.    Once they're done, try not to freak out  👀         via GIPHY       Let them cool and enjoy them with a nice cocktail or mocktail like this one I call...  Christmas Cheer     
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			
			 
				  Christmas Cheer can be made as a cocktail or a mocktail.  
			 
			

		 
	
	 

     Take 4 parts apple cider and 1 part Hennessy (or not) and top off with 2-3 parts of ginger beer. Garnish with a few apple slices and a cinnamon stick.  The longer the cinnamon sits, the more spicy the drink will taste.  Excellent by the glass or made ahead for a party punch bowl.  Bon appétit!  What are your favorite Christmas cookie recipes?

On top of sheer entertainment value, several of the characters from The Wiz Live offered up some life gems that I thought were worth a mention.  Take a look at the best of Twitter's reactions to The Wiz Live and the wisdom it served in musical form.  

     
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

      Heyyyyyy, it's Friday!  I don't know about you but I completely got my #blackgirlmagic life last night watching The Wiz Live.  From choreography, to set design, to the fierce costumes and the uber-talented cast, Black excellence was on full display and I was all caught in my feelings watching this homage (not carbon copy) of the original production.  On top of sheer entertainment value, several of the characters from The Wiz Live offered up some life gems that I thought were worth a mention.  Take a look at the best of Twitter's reactions to The Wiz Live and the wisdom it served in musical form.          When you realize tomorrow’s Friday  pic.twitter.com/MI3HqlImbg  — BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed)  December 4, 2015  
  
     On Wisdom...     
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

    
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

    
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

    
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

        On Authenticity & Purpose...     
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

    
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			
			 
				  Hmmm...I wonder how many times God has said this about us?  LOL  
			 
			

		 
	
	 

      I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha  #TheWiz   pic.twitter.com/uLJwiMRw72  — Mashable GIF (@mashablegif)  December 4, 2015  
      
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			
			 
				  Girl power!  
			 
			

		 
	
	 

     On Love & Hope...     
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

    
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

    
	 
	
		 
			
				 
					    
				 
			

			

		 
	
	 

     And this was just funny...       Mary bout to be Lit on  #TheWizLive  like  pic.twitter.com/7O5RmpHdWr  — Tiyon TC Christian (@SongwriterTC)  December 4, 2015  
       The Wiz Live was so lit and I can't wait for it to be on DVD or streaming video.    What was your favorite part?

7 Ways to Lend a Helping Hand this Christmas

Red cups at Starbucks, mistletoe, ugly red and green sweaters and Santa hats are not the only things that mark the beginning of the Christmas holiday season.  'Tis the season for giving and there are more than a few ways to help make someone else's holiday a little brighter.  Challenge yourself to see how many ways you can make a difference in someone's life in honor of Jesus' birthday.

7 Ways to Lend a Helping Hand this Christmas

Holiday Hotline Bling

So the summer is over, but not even the wonder woman known as Adele can stop Drake's shine. Hotline Bling is everywhere and has been inspiring a LOT of other celebrities to put their own stank on it.  While we wait for an official mash-up of Hello and Hotline Bling, catch a few laughs and send up a shout with these funny and funky renditions of this emo anthem.

Holiday Hotline Bling