Ah, Christmas Eve. In some ways, the day before Christmas is even better than Christmas itself. Whereas Christmas is all chaos, wrapping paper, food, too much food, drink, too much drink, and lots of cleanup, Christmas Eve is all about anticipation. The day becomes a countdown, getting better with each passing minute.
In our family, we get to open one present Christmas Eve night, and growing up, there was always the big question as to what kind of cookies to make for Santa. There are lots of different Christmas cookies. Gingerbread men, pinwheels, shortbread, snowballs, sugar cookies in every Christmas shape. As I waited for the audio files of the radio show to upload on YouTube, I decided to rank my favorite and least favorite Christmas Cookies. See if you agree with me:
This is number one because it’s a holiday tradition in our house. My grandmother made them for my dad and his brothers, who would fight over them. She taught my sister and I how to make them when we were young, and as we’ve grown, we still struggle to replicate the complicated recipe, which requires rolling a mixture of dates and the disturbingly named “nut meats” (or walnuts) onto a sheet of homemade dough, rolling it all up, freezing overnight and then carefully slicing them into cookies to bake. By the end of it all, I’m not sure if we enjoy them so much because they’re delicious or because they take so long to make (definitely the former).
Here’s my grandmother’s recipe if you’re feeling ambitious. If you’re a novice baker like me, start now.
2) Sugar cookies
Who doesn’t love sugar cookies? In any form they’re delicious, but cut into your favorite Christmas shapes with frosting and sprinkles, they’re downright impossible to resist.
3) Peanut Butter Blossoms
Peanut butter and chocolate? Can’t go wrong. Plus, they give the 12-year-olds boys among us the chance to make a 12-year-old boy’s joke.
Why is this considered a cookie again? Biscotti is crumbly, hard to eat, and unless you really like almonds, pretty gross. No thanks.
2) Gingerbread Men
I’ll probably get killed for this, but not a fan of the gingerbread men. Think about it: you spend all this time decorating a cookie shaped like a person just to eat it. Not only is that kind of creepy, but the cookies themselves just aren’t my thing.
3) Butter Cookies
Made famous by Royal Dansk, and famous for being really dry and flavorless. If I wanted to eat something that tasted like butter, I’d eat some more popcorn.
Feel free to share your favorites and least favorites in the comments.
Now that we’re all nice and hungry, let’s go over the little news there was on Monday.
Kentucky is now #18 in both polls
After a win over Belmont, no one really expected the Cats to move much in the polls and they didn’t. Kentucky moved up one spot to #18 in the AP poll and up three spots to #18 in the Coaches’ Poll. Louisville is ranked #6 and #4 in the AP and Coaches’ Poll, respectively.
Aaron Harrison was named SEC Freshman of the Week
For the second time this season, Aaron Harrison was voted SEC Freshman of the Week by the league. The honor comes after his 23-point, 7-assist, and 6-rebound performance against Belmont, one of his most impressive games yet. Most people considered Aaron the lesser of the Harrison Twins coming into the season, a myth that has been thoroughly debunked over the past few weeks. Aaron has emerged as a leader on a team that desperately needs one, pulling the squad together in crucial times and becoming a reliable scorer.
On his radio show Monday night, Calipari said that Aaron’s strong performance as of late is a sign he’s maturing faster than his fellow freshmen:
“Aaron was Freshman of the Week because of how he’s been playing. Aaron is catching (on) quicker than the other freshmen. James Young didn’t give us the kind of game he’s been giving us. Again, not enough energy, not enough toughness. We’re doing things to get down, get open, break people down with the ball, be lower than them, want contact, drive in, ‘hit me!’, and then make baskets. Don’t drive in and think, ‘if this guy hits me, I’m just gonna jump in the air’ and throw the ball. We’re making strides.”
Here’s hoping Aaron’s performance leads to the Freshmen of the Week trophy being passed around the Lodge for the rest of the season.
Matt Elam used “we” when talking about UK’s 2014 recruiting class
UK’s top remaining target in the 2014 class (both literally and figuratively) called into the radio show this morning to talk about his recruitment. Interestingly, when speaking about the 2014 UK class, Matt used the word “we” to describe what’s going on in Lexington:
“I love Kentucky, I’m from here, I love Coach Stoops, what we have with the commits up there is just something special, I’ve never saw it before. I’m very comfortable with all them, with Drew [Barker] and everybody. I enjoy that with them, it’s something you don’t really see a lot.”
Don’t get too excited; Elam also spoke glowingly of Alabama, and even worse, says his mother really likes the Crimson Tide too. Let’s hope mama decides she wants her baby close to home.
Check out the full interview above. Elam decides on January 4th.
Something to keep an eye on…
There was some interesting movement over on the 247 Sports Crystal Ball on Monday. Both of The Cats Pause’s recruiting experts Chris Fisher and Josh Edwards predicted 2014 4-star OG Marcelys Jones will switch his commitment from Ohio State to Kentucky. Word has it Jones has been warming on the Cats over the past couple of months, and the natives in Columbus are getting restless. Jones took an official visit to UK on December 7th and also plays in the Army All-American game on January 4th…could it be a doubly good day for the Cats?
The podcasts are still down, but we have a temporary solution
Not since Andrew Wiggins’ recruitment have we had so many impatient fans on our hands. The Clear Channel website was hacked, which means the podcasts haven’t updated since the 18th. Trust us, we are aware of the problem, which is, unfortunately, out of our control. However, we may have a temporary fix. Until Clear Channel gets its act together (or puts down the eggnog), we’ll be uploading the podcasts via YouTube. This takes a while and we’re doing our best, so please be patient. Without further ado, here are Hours 1 and 2 from Monday:
Tuesday and Wednesday’s radio shows will be replays, and the gang will return on Thursday. Have no fear, we on the blog will be here come rain, snow, or holiday to make sure you get your Kentucky sports fix. I’ll leave you with another look at Mark Stoops’ Christmas Card, which the folks at UK just informed us is actually a wreath made from Christmas cards sent to Coach Stoops from fans last year: