Only have a moment to check in, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to say “Merry Christmas” to each of you, my sweet cyber friends! Today my husband’s side of the family is coming over for a ham dinner with all the trimmings and tomorrow my side of the family is coming over and we are doing a repeat of the ham dinner. A few things may be “recycled” for that dinner, but we will not think of labeling any of it as “leftovers.” Not on Christmas!
This holiday season has been nice in that we bought less and simplified more. I have spent several evenings enjoying my family and watching old Christmas movies with them. Lots of teenagers have filled our home, making our boys very happy and it is enjoyable to hear the laughter of these wonderful young people. I want a close relationship with my three boys and I am seeing that one of the best ways to have that is to be willing to become a part of their lives and let their friends into ours. The other night it was kind of funny. I was in the kitchen making tea and one of Dillon’s friends was in the room. I offered him tea, thinking he would look at me like I was from mars. Instead, within a couple minutes there was a room full of teenaged boys in the kitchen picking out what kind of tea they wanted. It was truly cute!! Though they would probably all deny it if cornered! LOL!
Every December we try to make Gingerbread men. One year we were late and so we made them in January. We have called them January Men ever since. But this year, I decided to make a lot more than January men. About a year and a half ago I had a wonderful junking day in Northern Idaho and Western Montana with several of my best girlfriends. In one of the little shops I found the cutest little metal pig and chicken cookie cutters. So we also made gingerbread pigs and chickens! And of course hearts, stars and more.
I don’t like a lot of frosting and it is certainly not good for us, so instead I opt to “paint” the cookies with egg tinted with food coloring. To do this, beat an egg until blended, add food coloring and paint it on the cookie before baking them. The egg crackles, giving it a real old fashioned look. It speaks to my primitive loving bones! I did hearts on lots of the pigs and chickens. Hearts have become a reminder for me. When I am doing a list of things to do each day, I often put a heart on it. What is the heart for? It is my visual reminder to be kind and loving. Sometimes life gets busy and I get overwhelmed with all the “to dos” and in doing this I get, well, shall we say, “a bit ugly.” I hate it when I act short or impatient or let irritation surface to easily. This heart is a reminder to treat those I love with kindness and patience. So, in a way, it has carried into my life so hearts show up on many of my creations . . . including these cookies. I know hearts went out in the 80s, but for me, they will always be in vogue!
Last night we enjoyed a quiet evening visiting with our besties, Mark and Deborah over cookies and coffee at our house. Deborah is a true southern girl, spending most of her growing up years in Oklahoma. So I painted this little sign for her for her Christmas present. I love trying to find a present I can make for someone that is personal for them but also affordable for us!
Tomorrow morning is perhaps my favorite part of Christmas. Before any extended family comes over, we will gather together as a family, Ron will read the Christmas story and we will have a time of prayer. Christmas is about so much more than presents and even more than time with family. It is a celebration of the greatest gift . . . and sacrifice ever given. Jesus came down to earth in the form of a baby, only to die a wickedly painful death in order to give each of us the opportunity to have eternal life. He truly laid down his life for us and gave us eternity in exchange. This is true love! We need to celebrate this. So, take a few minutes from the hustle and bustle and thank God for this gift and worship Him for this boundless love!