Monday, December 29, 2008

Sniff Sniff....Is it really over?

It is hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone again. We work for, months... to make everything just "perfect". We shop, plan, bake, decorate, wrap and more.

Our houses are beautiful and our kitchens smell of gingerbread and cinnamon. Then in a matter of is over. We sit there in the mist of balls of discarded paper, tape and those ever loved gift bags looking around at the shell shocked zone wondering what just happened.

Then we vow, or at least I vow, to not kill myself next year and to make it a more simple Christmas. I always have the best of intentions but somewhere around the 15th all of my common sense goes out the window and I start frantically making plans, doing additional shopping that was not planned (or budgeted), baking more than I anticipated and stress stress stressing about the "perfect" Christmas.
On December 26th, when I magically regain my senses and I have all of my wits about me again, I begin to plan next year. Yes, you heard me right. I tell myself that this commercialism is going to stop and everyone is going to realize that it is Jesus' birthday and we are celebrating that wonderful gift.

Oh to think that a King in all of His glory would step down from his wondrous throne to be born a baby of a virgin girl. To be born in a stable to parents who had nothing to speak of as wordly posessions. To walk this earth,living to die. My darling Christ, the sacrificial lamb of the world was born on this night. Why do we need to complicate that?

But 2009, this year's Christmas, I think people will stop and realize this. I think they will be forced to. The economy has crumbled and we have not even seen the tip of that iceburg. There will be no extra money for the "extras" that we think are so necessary for a "perfect" Christmas.
For the first time in...well, forever, I may actually stick with my vow for the simple, truly perfect, Christmas. My three gift max per person rule will apply in full force. And if you are outside of my own personal nest then a one gift per person rule will apply. It is not about the gifts!!!! It is about being together, spending time togehter, and pondering that most wonderful gift from so many years ago.

Are you sad that your Christmas is over? Well let's not be. Let's vow today, together to make it a year to remember when we tell those retailers, NO WE WILL NOT BE TRICKED into a commericalized Christmas. This is the birthday of our Lord and we will place Him first.
Then on Dec. 25th of this year when we are sitting there in the midst of a not so big at all pile of discarded paper and bows we can sigh and say

"this was the perfect Christmas".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Present

Wow Ladies! It is almost here! Christmas! I love Christmas! I love the sounds, the lights, the decorations, the smells, the family, the friends, the smiles....

Oh I could go on and on.

So what are your plans? Are you , like me filled to the brim each day with a list a mile long of things to do, people to see and parties to enjoy?

Sunday we went to church for our annual Christmas play and dinner. Our church is the sweetest little church on the planet! It is an old fashioned small church. We had our younger sunday school class' Christmas play (Jesus the Light of the World), followed by the older children reciting from the Bible and playing the piano. Then we all headed next door to share a meal together. It was delicious. Then as everyone was leaving hubby passed out the goody bags for each and every person, young and old. Inside the bag you find an apple, orange, nuts, candy, and gum. They are in brown paper sacks....just like the goody bags from my childhood.

Today of course it was back to church where we warmed up leftovers from Sunday and then after eating we all made up the baskets of food for the needy. Now these are not small food baskets. They contain about four boxes of food for needy families. We also include gifts for any children in the family. It is such a joy to give back to God's people.

Saturday we will go back to church and pick up our own Angel Food menu items from this month along with two of the food baskets to deliver to people that we know in town.

Saturday afternoon we will head out to my dad and his wife's, Nana, for our family Christmas gathering. Nana goes all out for this and bakes for days and days. And then we eat and eat and eat. After we eat and open gifts and eat again and open gifts again with the rest of the family that come later...she sends us home with bags and boxes of more goodies. YUMMY!

Sunday we will head back to the church where we will have regular service and prepare for the final week of christmas. It is going to be a joy this year. I myself have bought up a lot of baking items and will be preparing lots of goodies for my friends and family. Tonight I fixed two cherry chip cakes with cream cheese icing and a batch of brownies for the two lovely gals of mine to take to school tomorrow for their Christmas party. I love that we are blessed and are able to send our children to a Christian school where they actually have a CHRISTMAS party and not some holiday party.

The evening before Christmas Eve hubby, me and the gals will be heading to my moms for an overnight stay where we will wake up at her house on Christmas Eve morning and have a breakfast together and exchange gifts. It is sure to be a good time. Then it is off to my sister in laws for Christmas with hubby's family.

Christmas day for the first time in years we have nowhere to go and I am loving it meeces to pieces! We will get to wake up on Christmas morning and stay in our jammies while we open gifts then eat our breakfast casserole that will have been setting up overnight in the fridge. Then we will lounge around watching Christmas movies and just being together. AH what a good time will be had!

So what are you planning with your family this year for Christmas?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cooking up some love!

It's that time of year when we ladies spend the majority of our time in the kitchen.

We shine this time of year. Our culinary skills are put to their test as we make cake after cake and cookie after cookie and a few pies here and there.

There is a party here and a party there....everywhere a party and these paries need FOOD!

Not just the parties either, our own homes must be filled with goodies at the very fingertips of all who grace our door.

Our chldren and our hubbies are spoiled rotten this time of year too. We fix everyone's favorite holiday treat. Why? Because we love them "meeces to pieces"! The way to show that love is by showering them with sugar!

It is also a great time to spend with our children in the kitchen. They can help to roll the cookie dough, mix the cakes, load the filling into the shells and more. My daughters are a great help to if only I can get them to help clean up...hmmmm.

This is also a time of year for big family dinners. Those kind of "feel good" dinners full of comfort food. After all we must "bulk up" for the winter months ahead...right? At least that is what I am telling myself.

The dinners at my house this time of year include all of the favorites. We have lots of turkey dishes, mashed potatoes, dressings, roasts, mac n cheese, country hams, yeast rolls, biscuits, breads, lasagnes, stews and chilis. YUMMY
This time of year we spend time with family. Just being together seems to be enough. Finally people are spending time at home and just "being".
I love winter time for the simple reason that it forces us to spend time at home.
So mom's grab those aprons, dust off those recipes, grab your favorite mixing bowl and most comfy spoon and get to work.
Cook, bake, and love that family of yours!
It is Christmas!