12 Today’s song is Tomas Luis de Victoria’s extremely beautiful “O Magnum Mysterium.” While this is very satisfying to sing, it is not the kind of thing you are likely to sing around the house while getting your holiday preparations finished up.

The song marvels at the thought that farm animals got to be present at the birth of Christ. A speciesist thing to marvel at, perhaps, but the music is wonderful.

I had no class last night, so I continued working on Christmas confections. #2 son helped me make turtles and Festive Cranberry Bark.12 This year, the Kraft people have made caramel in little pellets to melt more easily, and without all the unwrapping which makes using their caramel for your turtles as much trouble as making your own.

Then I made Painted Eggnog Cookies. The secret to getting good colors with these is to mix food color with egg yolk and paint them before baking.

The abstract designs on these make me think of my childhood, when paintings and even illustrations were like this.

I sprinkled some with sugar, for sparkle. tootconcept_e_sHowever, it is easy with simple cookies to get carried away with the decorating, so that they end up pretty, but too sweet to eat.

I only did a couple of dozen of these last night, but I think that I can roll and cut and bake while doing my computer work today. This may make me slightly less efficient, but no more so than chatting with coworkers and helping customers, and I have neither here at my computer.

Plus, I am not only dabbling in the Dark Art of SEO today, but also getting that rocks and minerals subunit going, an undertaking that requires Thought. And Thought sometimes comes more easily when the hands are busy.

So, yeah, I’ve talked myself into that. And I am thinking that, while I will make more abstract stars and trees, I also might like to make some icing. Then I could make bells or animals or something, with feathering. Feathering is the most fun kind of icing effect, I think. It might look silly on animals. I am probably only thinking of animals because of the song. And even if we can imagine the Christ Child 12surrounded by animals in rapt contemplation, we can’t very well imagine them with feathered icing on them.

I got a bit further with #2 son’s sweater last night while the cookies were baking. This is the front. The back is finished. I doubt it will be ready for Christmas Day, frankly. Maybe New Year’s. Epiphany, for sure.

Now, since “O Magnum Mysterium,” lovely though it is, is not a practical tune to sing while you finish up your holiday preparations (unless you are doing a group baking perhaps, with a group of friends who all happen to sing different parts, in which case go for it), I will offer you a second song today: “The Friendly Beasts.”

This is a very sweet tune, which your kids will enjoy singing with you as you bake cookies and wrap gifts. Or, alternatively, you can enjoy humming it at your computer. Get your coworkers to join in. Play it on a comb and tissue paper, with the stapler for percussion. Process around the building singing it sweetly in close harmony. Next year, the office will be ready for “O Magnum Mysterium.”