Mallomars & A Possible Moratorium On Holiday Decorating

Need I say more?

It’s that time of the year again. Mallomars, only in stores from October until April, are back. Oh, what a delightful surprise when I spy them in a display at my local grocery store. After completely forgetting about their existence from May through September, suddenly, there they are. And I have to buy them. When we run out, I have to send Don to the store on an emergency Mallomars mission.

The perfect combination of marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker crust. Light as air. Gone in one bite, or two if I’m being ladylike.  Oh. my. goodness. Little bits of fluffy, chocolatey heaven on earth.

Moving on.

Do I want to decorate for Christmas? I have to be honest here, I’m not feeling inspired. Do I want to get a tree (we always get a real tree) when Don is leaving over a week before Christmas? Do I want to go through all of that for just me? I’m seriously debating this subject. Trees are beautiful, but do I want to spend the money on one when money is tight?

I love my Christmas decorations but I may take the year off. Perhaps I’ll just put up the little white tree that I usually have in the living room. And maybe some lights on the porch. Christmas is going to be celebrated via a Skype call with Don. We’ve decided we’ll send each other a present or two and open them while Skyping. That will be our little celebration.

If I’m not inspired, why should I feel as if I must decorate? As it is, I don’t join in on the blogland decorating bandwagon since I never decorate before the second week of December. And if you’re interested in how I usually decorate, you could easily visit my archives.

I’m leaning toward very little to no decorating. Maybe just a smidgen.

And moving on.

I am woefully behind in leaving comments on your blogs. Please forgive me. I try to leave a few each day. I’m trying to catch up. Between crocheting for the shop, helping Don through his illness, trying to find work and other pressing needs, I’ve been a bad blogging friend. I hope you understand. Though I do my best to respond to all your comments here on this blog and I love the conversation that we have. That makes me feel a bit better about the whole thing. Because we are communicating. But it doesn’t take the place of me visiting you on your piece of blog real estate. Believe me, I know that. I’ll be around. I promise.

Okay. I’ll be back tonight for A Favorite Thing. 8:00 EST.

The winner of Judy’s lovely Christmas pillow is Leann from The Old Parsonage. That’s just perfect, because Leann loves Christmas! She even has a Christmas countdown on her blog. Leann, send me your mailing address and I will forward it on to Judy.

Happy Friday.


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  1. says

    Claudia, you have your hands full right now. Put up the little white tree and stock up on Mallomars. Every year is different, and there’s no point in forcing holiday cheer when your heart isn’t in it. Don’t worry about leaving comments–we are all in the same boat, too much to do in too little time. Good luck with the job search, I know what a frustrating and time-consuming task that is. I’ll ‘see’ you tomorrow with my favorite thing, and until then have a good day and I hope Don starts feeling better! xxooMartha

  2. Tana says

    I don’t think anyone doesn’t have a year now and then when the Christmas decorating spirit leaves them. It’s totally OK to skip decorating, in my opinion. Christmas will still feel like Christmas. I think just a few decorations will be perfect for both of you.

  3. Kris says

    My husband LOVES Malomars!!! I am sorry to hear that Don is sick. I must have missed something. I hope he will be feeling better soon.
    PS My Dad’s name was Don. Short for Donavon.

    • Claudia says

      You didin’t miss anything, Kris. I’ve barely mentioned it as I want to respect his privacy.

  4. Nola says

    Claudia, relax and have a Malomars, don’t worry about the comments for a day or so. Malomars must be a regional thing, I’ve never heard of them or seen them here in TX.
    Put up your little white tree and be done! One year I decorated a wrought iron divider that sat in the corner of the room. My cousin decorated the back of a large wicker chair when she didn’t want to put up a tree! Anything can be decorated, Christmas is a state of mind, it’s not a material object (retailers hate my way of thinking). Last night I saw a commercial (don’t remember what it was advertising). It said, as best as I remember, “Christmas isn’t about the tree, it’s about who’s around the tree.” All you need is you, Don, Scout and Skype!
    Skype is a blessing; it’s how I celebrate Christmas with my great neice!

    • Claudia says

      They supposedly can only be shipped in cooler weather which may be why you don’t see them in Texas.

      • Nola says

        Aha! That’s probably it. We don’t really have a cold winter, just intermittent cold weather a few days here and a few days there. Ive arrived home from grocery shopping many a time to find my chocolate items melted.

  5. says

    Claudia, don’t you dare worry about visiting right now. You take care of Don, Scout, and you. I think one small tree sounds perfect. Besides, Christmas isn’t about the decorations. It’s about other people and celebrating the Lord’s birth. It’s a celebration of love, and you are prepared to do just that with Don. I haven’t finished my decorating, and I’m not doing as much this year. I’m tired, and I’m pacing myself. Plus, I really like to celebrate Christmas the whole month into Epiphany in January. Fred’s father’s family only got their tree on Christmas Eve, and I think my father’s family did the same. Our house as children was decorated, but not every square inch. And we are still the only house in the neighborhood without lights strung from every eave. I put a wreath on the door, and that’s it. Well, I put up live greenery on the railings in St. Augustine for the tourist because they enjoy that. Growing up, my parents decorated, but they did it in moderation outside. I guess I’m a chip off the old block there. 😉



    • Claudia says

      My dad’s family didn’t put up their tree until Christmas Eve, Sheila. I think that came from the German/his mom’s side of the family.

  6. says

    I wouldn’t “worry” about Christmas decorating if you’re not in the mood. There’s no written rule that says you have to decorate for Christmas. We haven’t put up a full-sized Christmas tree since our son passed away a few years ago. Tim, our youngest son, doesn’t even want us to put one up anymore. This year we went out and bought a tabletop tree and put that on top of the buffet. It’s pre-lit, so no work. I hung a few ornaments on it and called it done.

    With all you have going on (and I didn’t realize Don was ill), just enjoy your Mallomars guilt-free and let the decorating go, because that’s not what matters. Hugs and blessings to you!

    • Claudia says

      It’s hard to get too enthused about decorating when you’ve suffered such a terrible loss, Melanie. I think the tabletop tree sounds like the perfect solution. Blessings to you and yours, Melanie.

  7. says

    I’m sorry. I see the dreaded typos in that last response. It’s this IPAD and small print. I have trouble on this thing. Sorry.

    Back to your Christmas… just be sure your little white tree is in the background when you and Don open your presents on Skype. And besides that, you are decorated with your very own Snow Dog aka Scoutie. 😉



  8. says

    Claudia, I sooo want to have those cookies, seriously, why can’t I find them in Canada? Just think if you put up a tree, you sit and snuggle with Scout and eat Mallomars…..stay cosy and warm, skype with hubby and have a peaceful and relaxed time. Don’t ever worry about comments back, it’s a busy time of year and besides, isn’t this blogland full of great friends who all understand!

    • Claudia says

      Hugs to you, Mags. They’re made by Nabisco – maybe some store carries them? I hope you can find them, my friend.

  9. says

    Claudia, I do not think you should stress yourself beyond doing what you truly want to do and will enjoy. If decorating will make you feel happier, do it. If it will emphasize that Don is away, don’t. As for replying to comments, while we all love hearing from you, we are all more or less in the same boat, and we understand how hard it can be to do everything. As for me, it has been several years since I did any decorating at all. This year, I have done a few simple things. Suits me!

  10. Missy says

    I’m not feeling like decorating either. This will be my last Christmas in this house and I am feeling sad about that. Do you have a Christmas mug or pillow you can use for the next few weeks? It doesn’t take much to feel decorated. I wouldn’t do a tree unless it was small and easy. Put a little garland on Scout and in your hair and say Merry Christmas!

  11. says

    I agree… don’t stress over decorating!! Just a teeny bit for you and Miss Scout. Rest up and enjoy the holiday however feels right for you. Don’t stress about comments either! Sending get well wishes to Don, wishes for an abundance of Mallowmars (my grandmother used to always have those type of cookies… yum), and wishes for a cozy December. :)

      • says

        Thanks Claudia and yes, we have snow. We’re actually north of Calgary, but you remembered the province!! Cold too. -26C (-15F). Makes the trips outside to make the cuts on the hardwood very quick). Don’t have to worry about overheating!! :)

  12. says

    Claudia, I used to decorate to the hilt for Christmas, but not so much anymore. And a few years ago, when we first got our wild and crazy Baby cat – I didn’t put ANYthing up – no tree and no decorations at all except for a tray of non-breakable bottlebrush trees of varying sizes and styles on our living room coffee table/trunk. I thought it was really going to bother me to not have the house decorated so much, but guess what? It didn’t hurt one bit!!! And even though we’ve gone back to putting up a tree, I haven’t gotten completely back into decorating like I used to because, let’s face it, Baby is STILL a wild and crazy girl and I really don’t want my vintage feather angels, etc. crashing to the floor :)

    Just take care of yourself, Don, and Scout and don’t worry about if you ‘should’ decorate. Just go with the flow and do what makes you happy :)

    Hugs, Donna

    • Claudia says

      Baby is still wild and crazy and you know you wouldn’t have it any other way, my friend. Love to you, your family, Jarrett and Baby.

  13. says

    Hi Claudia, I kid you not–I am EATING a mallomar RIGHT NOW!!! Yes, before lunch! I took a luscious bite, then opened my email, and I saw the word “mallomars” on the title of your post! My name is Linda and I am addicted to mallomars. :) I hope Don feels better before his trip. As for decorating, I say go get a tiny little real tree right now, put your favorite lights and ornaments on it, and enjoy it before Don leaves. When you Skype it will be in the background and the wonderful pine scent will lift your spirits! I’m having decorating issues for different reasons, and it is so difficult to do one-handed, but I know it will be worth it in the end. The greenery and brightness of the decorations always remind me that this is a time for celebration, even when issues in our lives bring sadness or stress. I hope you feel happier soon! Eat a mallomar with a cup of peppermint tea. Yummmmmm. Linda

    • Claudia says

      Yay! I love that you were eating a mallomar as you read this post! Perfection! I mentioned to Don that I was thinking of no tree and he looked a bit disconcerted. He said, “Maybe a small one.” So, we’re going to think on it over the weekend and see.

  14. Regena Fickes says

    Christmas is not decorating. Take care of yourself and those you love. So sorry that Don is ill. Will be praying for all of you. As for replies on our comments, we will be here when you get It together and no one will be in a snit. Mallowmars—Delight! I remember them from childhood. Haven’t thought about them in a long time. When I go out today, will be checking the grocery shelves. Be kind to yourself.

  15. LuvWheaties says

    Claudia, I am not putting up a tree this year. I have a pretty Christmas pillow on my sofa, and a few things on my coffee table that go with the season, and I am fine with that. If I was having guests this year, or if I had young children, I would put up a tree for them. I say if you are not feeling it, then honor that.

  16. Donnamae says

    Mallomars? Never had one…but I think I’ll get a box now, and try them! As far as decorating goes…do what you feel comfortable with…you’ve got Scout, your Mallomars, and a Skype with Don planned! Everything else is fluff! And while fluff is nice, it certainly isn’t necessary. My mantra, make your Christmas meaningful! 😉

  17. says

    Hi Claudia

    Thanks so much for picking my name from the “hat!” I’m thrilled!!!!!!!!!

    Decorations are not what Christmas is all about. It’s all about love and you have plenty of that my friend ~from Don, Miss Scout, your family and your friends (blog friends included). Do what you want to do!


  18. Elizabeth says

    Hi – I think you should just “go with the flow” – don’t do any decorating if you don’t feel like it or put a few things out as the mood strikes you. The main thing is to not feel guilty about whatever you decide to do (or not do). We all put so much pressure on ourselves just because we think we have to do what everyone else is doing. I began relaxing and really enjoying the Christmas season when I taught myself this lesson a few years ago.
    If you have some pine branches, or any other natural materials on your property, bring those in and put them in pots or jugs. Sometimes just something natural can be a reminder of the season and very soothing.
    Thank you for your great blog, and sharing parts of your life with us.
    Best wishes to you for a blessed winter season……..

  19. says

    If you don’t want to buy a tree (they are expensive) you could build a book tree – I know you own lots of books. You build a tree out of books then put your lights over top. Lights are what does it for Christmas decorating for me :)

  20. tracy says

    I agree ~ honor your personal feelings and don’t let yourself feel pressured by other people’s expectations. I put out a few of my favorite meaningful ornaments in a pretty bowl and light a few candles. Also, rather than a tree, we get a real pine garland so we can enjoy the smell. Believe me, once Christmas is over, it feels lots better than having tons of stuff to put away.

  21. says

    I’ve never had a Mallowmar! And I don’t need anymore vices and that’s what chocolate becomes for me!

    I hope you decide what suits you best for celebrating Christmas. It’s a tough call since you’ve never been alone at Christmas before. See how you feel as we get closer but most of all, don’t deny yourself what makes you happiest. And…don’t worry about visiting me, the pleasure is all mine!


  22. says

    Somehow I missed that Don is sick. Hope he is feeling better. You do have your hands full. I think you should definitely do what feels right to you. I think a small tree would be perfect. It will give you the feel of Christmas without stretching your budget.


    • Claudia says

      He’s been battling something for the past few months. I am not giving details as I want to respect his privacy.

  23. says

    I can relate on the holidays being off-kilter. We had the kitchen fire a week before Thanksgiving and now we’ve had cleaners and painters here for a week now with a few more days to go. We have the tree up but no decorations on it yet. I’m not worried, it will all work out. And you are right to do what feels right for you. It’s all good!!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    • Claudia says

      It will all work out, indeed, Teresa. Thank goodness no one was hurt in the kitchen fire! That’s the most important thing.

  24. Annette Tracy says

    I love the idea of you and Don Skyping and opening gifts, too cute. The white tree sounds delightful, and we expect pics. Just a few of our beloved treasures can be enough for us sometimes.

  25. Deb says

    I’m going to be looking for Mallomars – I don’t think I have ever had one and I don’t think I’ve seen them in the stores around here. Russell Stover used to (& maybe still do) make something similar and I remember gobbling those down. Sounds like the perfect winter comfort food!

    If I were you, I’d just go with the small white tree and a few of your utmost favorite decorations. Burn a yummy candle or simmer something good on the stove, put on your favorite Christmas music – and just call it good. I really think the world has gone over board with decorations. I know I used to want to have a tree in every room and decorate everything – now I’m more into SIMPLIFY these days. Just do enough to make you feel special.

    BTW, after you mentioned Don in the upcoming production of Pygmalion – I checked out a DVD of the 1938 movie since I am not familiar with the story. Hope to watch it this weekend!

    • Claudia says

      I think ‘overboard’ is the right word, Deb. I see it everywhere. I’m thinking a wreath on the front door, some lights on the porch, my little tree and my bottle brush wreaths. That’s it.

      • Deb says

        Sounds perfect. And those bottle brush wreaths sound interesting and fun and special. Hope we’ll get to see a photo of them!

  26. says

    Hi Claudia,
    Yummmsters! I have a trip out this afternoon to buy peppermint candies for my Christmas fudge recipe…and, now, I am adding Mallowmars to my list!!! I haven’t seen them before and I’m hoping they are on sale in the Northwest.

    Not to worry about blogging comments. This is such a crazy busy time of year for all of us bloggers. A sick husband, job search, shop inventory….I’d say you have your plate pretty full!

    Your in my thoughts and I appreciate your friendship, Claudia.

    • Claudia says

      Thank you, Carolynn, I appreciate your friendship as well. Mallomars seem to be sold where the weather is cooler. So I would think they’d be available in your neck of the woods. When we lived in Southern California, they weren’t available.

  27. Tina says

    You have such lovely things, you can certainly scale down the decorating by not having a traditional tree and still have a house that won’t make you sad on Christmas morning. Try using a few of the things you have in different ways this year to fuel your creativity and still keep the spirit. We’ve done things like this before when we were going to be out of town for Christmas.

  28. says

    I’m with the others ~ go ahead…take the year off. You may find the little white tree is all you’ll ever need. You can always get a fresh wreath for the door if you’re inspired. Enjoy ~ whatever you do. xo

  29. Siuziq1023 says

    Do I ever relate! My back is to the lortab stage and DH is recuperating from HIS back surgery not to mention total unorganized chaos at work. BUT there are 19 kids/grands coming for our family Christmas to-do on the 16th and they expect (deserve?) grandma’s house to LOOK like grandma’s house for Christmas. It’s going to be a looooong weekend 😉

    • Claudia says

      Oh no. You two have enough on your plates with all your back problems! I hope this isn’t too taxing on you! Take care.

  30. says

    Do you know I’ve never seen a package of Mallomars? Never. Therefore, never tasted them. I didn’t put up a tree. Since Judy and sometimes John are the only people that are ever in my house, why should I go to all that trouble dragging everything out of the horrid shed to get to all that? So I decorated all around the house, but in spots. If you don’t feel like doing it, why should you?

    • Claudia says

      Nabisco only ships Mallomars in the colder weather cycle. So living in Texas and Oklahoma, I bet you guys never see Mallomars. It’s too warm there.

  31. Sharron Akins says

    I think you should do just want you want to do for Christmas. I spent one Thanksgiving alone and had a lovely time. I made a nice dinner, lit candles, played favorite music and read an excellent book. I think the key here is to plan something to do on this day. Seems like you have planned and I am sure it will be a lovely day for you and Scout. It will fun to skype with Don. Enjoy whatever you do and relax.

  32. says

    Oh Claudia Christmas without your Don. Too bad you can’t go with him but I know how hard it is to leave the house and your dog. Well good chance to get in your jammies and watch some really good movies. I do that a lot when Dean travels to fill the evenings.

    • Claudia says

      Leaving the house in the winter is almost impossible as it it needs so much work. Shoveling, dripping hot water from the taps on very cold nights, keeping oil in the furnace. And even if I drove out there, I think it might be too hard on Scout. So here I’ll stay.

  33. says

    Clearly we’re missing something in the UK, although we do have something similar availableI all year round, Tunnocks Teacakes.

    I think you should have as many or as few decorations as you are comfortable with this Christmas. I made a teeny tiny felt tree and that may well be the only one we have.

    • Claudia says

      I read up on Mallomars, Annie, and Tunnocks Teacakes were mentioned. Apparently many different countries have a version of this kind of cookie.

  34. says

    If he’s not going to be there to help you take the BIG tree down then just do your small tree as you said…makes sense to me :)

  35. says

    I’m not feeling inspired to decorate for Christmas either. I hope everything is ok with Don. And everyone totally understands that you can’t comment on other blogs all the time. I have been woefully negligent myself.

    Happy Holidays!

  36. Carol Ann says

    My favorite cookies and my favorite author. I didn’t realize that these cookies are only available from Oct to Apr. I’ve tried and tried to stay away from cookies, but I may have to get some this weekend.

    If this post goes through, this will be the first time I’ve been able to post on your blog even though I follow and enjoy it daily.

  37. says

    My Claudia, I AM very behind catching up with you! Looks like it’s an eternity :(
    I know about decorating- with our belongings still in storage, living among stacks of boxes and a terrible mess, and a house to be found as of yet, it’s the 4th year in a row that I don’t put my tree and decorations up. But it’s the first year I don’t miss them. Some fir branches, candles and a wreath on the door are enough.
    Monica xoxo

  38. Annette says

    My work as a hospice nurse influences my actions. Life is short and precious. There are no moment, hours, days, or seasons to waste. Every occasion is a gift. Whether you decorate or don’t is not important. Just realize none of us knows if we will enjoy another Christmas. However you chose to honor the day, enjoy it to the max. Blessing to you and those you love.

  39. Lynn says

    I’m weighing in late here and you may have already made up your mind. I’d skip the decorating all together and get those creative juices and budget going all out for a New Year celebration homecoming party. Shh! (don’t tell Don). Enjoy!

  40. says

    Oh no… I was safe.. I had never heard of Mallomars… YIKES.. And, it’s apparently a popular treat because spellcheck didn’t catch it.. but it did catch spellcheck??? :-)

    I’ve had a few off years in the Christmas decorating department over the years? You know the best part???? There isn’t anything to put away when Christmas is over. Add a few fresh greens to the WONDERFUL things you already have so things smell good and forget the rest… It’ll all be there next year, right? Put on some great Christmas music and do something good for YOU… It’s be fun!

    I sure hope Don is feeling better…


  41. says

    If it were me I would decorate as much as wouldnt be too difficult for one person to tackle, but enough to feel festive before during and after a loved one’s absence. (And I do hope he will be feeling better soon.) I’m afraid I’m not much of a mallomar fan, but then I also don’t like S’mores. All too sweet for me! I hope you’re enjoying all your handwork! I’ve been terribly lax in my knitting but I think it must be the cold nights…. too cold to hold knitting needles in my fingers!!

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