Here are two festive holiday recipes, both requiring thick red gooey fluids that look very similar--but be careful not to confuse them! Remember: transmission fluid goes in the car and maraschino cherry juice goes in the cookies. Get it backwards and I can't vouch for the results.
First, a recipe for a properly functioning transmission: take one jump drive to the library and attach firmly to a computer. Use Google to locate the owner's manual for a 1995 Volvo 940 wagon and page through until you find a diagram showing where to locate the transmission fluid dipstick. Note that the manual goes on for eight or ten pages about proper use of safety belts but includes only one well-hidden sentence about where to add transmission fluid. Refrain from cursing, or if you must curse, try a seasonal favorite like "peppermint fudge!"
Find a sticky note and a writing implement and draw a rough diagram of the location of the transmission fluid dipstick, also taking note of the proper type of transmission fluid. Download manual to jump drive for future reference. Be sure to click on "safely remove jump drive" before removing! You wouldn't want to get home and find it empty.
Drive home, stopping along the way to pick up transmission fluid. Open hood on Volvo that has been sitting immobile ever since Sunday, when refused to shift out of second gear. Start engine and let it idle. Using diagram hastily sketched on sticky note, locate transmission fluid dipstick and pull it out, taking care to avoid brake fluid reservoir and power steering reservoir. Wipe on a dry cloth, stick it back in, and remove again quickly. Note how very dry it is. Find a funnel long enough to stick down between miscellaneous engine parts to the transmission fluid reservoir; lacking an appropriate funnel, construct one out of parchment paper and tape. (If you're the type who needs to stencil festive holiday motifs on the parchment paper funnel, talk to Martha Stewart.)
Pour fresh transmission fluid through funnel, noting how closely it resembles maraschino cherry juice--except for that rotten-egg smell. Take the car for a test drive, noting how smoothly the transmission shifts gears. Don't even think about where all that missing transmission fluid might have gone. Instead, go inside and have a cookie.
What kind of cookie? Try my husband's favorite Christmas cookie recipe: Santa's Whiskers. Cream one cup softened butter (and I mean real butter--no substitutions) with one cup sugar; add two tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (not transmission fluid), and one teaspoon vanilla (the real thing). Blend well. Add two and a half cups of all-purpose flour, three-quarters of a cup finely chopped maraschino cherries (not--well, whatever), and one-half cup finely chopped pecans (not walnuts! never walnuts!). Stir just until it holds together. Form dough into two logs and roll in flaked coconut. Wrap tightly and refrigerate at least an hour.
Heat oven to 375. Remove dough from refrigerator and use a sharp serrated knife to slice logs into quarter-inch disks. Place disks on cookie sheet. Some of the coconut will fall off as you're cutting; sprinkle this loose coconut over the disks. Bake around 12 minutes until edges are golden. Cool and eat while contemplating your car that now runs. Have a brief moment of panic as you wonder whether you poured maraschino cherry juice into the engine. Note that the cookies smell nothing at all like transmission fluid. Relax.