Sunday I baked this cream cheese, cranberry coffee cake and took it to Judy’s house. We joked that Judy was practicing for the holidays because she served her guests a giant, noon-day feast, royally finished-off with apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate petifours, vanilla ice cream, and my cream cheese, cranberry coffee cake. With satisfied bellies, we sat around the oak dining table, enjoying steaming cups of coffee. Yes, we were relaxing on a Sunday afternoon.

We kept saying we should do this more often. We felt so calm, just hanging out eating and talking. I guess we all were practicing for the holidays. I mean, folks say the purpose of the holidays is to relax with people we care about. Holiday foods are our signal that the day is special. Time to forget chores. Time to relax.

But Judy’s feast was a gigantic signal. No wonder we don’t relax more often if our signal takes that much time and effort to make. We need a smaller signal.

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