Caramel-pretzel bark bars

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Posted: Friday, December 20, 2019 6:26 am

I doubt I’m the only one who feels like it was Thanksgiving just yesterday – although I may be the only one still folding and putting away my fall table linens – but this holiday season has flown by.

I got a late start on shopping and pretty much all other holiday prep and I was convinced this weekend was going to be a mad scramble to finish shopping, wrap all the gifts and make sure things were in order for the somewhat awkward mid-week Christmas celebration.

Luckily, my mom and dad were there to make everything better. (I’m 41 years old and I’ll never tire of saying that.)

I asked my mom – my favorite shopping buddy – if she wanted to run some errands with me last weekend and then, as an afterthought, asked my dad to chauffeur.

I had a fantastic day. I don’t recall the last time I went shopping with just my parents, sitting in the backseat while Mom blasted the heat and Dad blared the Christmas music. (They even bickered a bit on the drive, just for old time’s sake.)

Dad drove us around, dropping us off and picking us up again at the front door of various stores so we didn’t have to waste time looking for parking spots.

We went to shops I rarely venture into, looking for that perfect gift for those left on my list. We drank coffee and sang along to the music in the car. And I finished all my shopping so I can enjoy the coming weekend – and maybe even do some more quick holiday baking, like these caramel-pretzel bars coated in chocolate.

On the drive home last weekend, I sat snuggled in the backseat of my parents’ car, cozy and drowsy. I was thoroughly content – and coated in glitter from the Christmas decorations I’d been checking out, and a little smeared with chocolate from a trip to the candy store for treats.

It would have been a great day for 6-year-old Alyssa, meaning it was definitely a great day for grownup Alyssa.

I love being a mom and a wife and responsible businessperson, but sometimes it’s nice to remember what it’s like to feel like a kid.

And there’s nothing better than being a kid at Christmastime.

For the recipe, see the Banner's online or print edition.

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