Holiday To-Do List (update):
For it is good to be children sometimes,
And never better than at Christmas,
When its mighty Founder was a child himself.
~~ Charles Dickens ~~
But Jesus called them to Him and said,
But Jesus called them to Him and said,
“Let the little children come to Me,
And do not forbid them;
For of such is the kingdom of God.
I have found a deliciously quiet moment – a moment without an activity or a preparation for an activity or the jammy-seeking tiredness that follows the close of an activity. You know of what I write: parties, teas, performances, crafts, table settings, dish washings . . . the list trails off in a delightful peppermint-stripe of fun and frolic as we gather together to celebrate the beauty of our happy walk toward Christmas.
Though I do nearly nothing in the way of shopping conventionally, I do go all out in flinging wide my door to gatherings big and small. A friend drops by to deliver goat’s milk because she was caught in a traffic jam when Gary came by to purchase and I put on the kettle. A delightful time strolling through the gardens (unseasonably warm and still in bloom here and there), followed by a fragrant gathering in the tree’s glow as we sipped strawberry-vanilla tea and nibbled at some dark chocolate became a gift. She pronounced it the nicest tea she had ever had – did I mention she’s a garden gal who loves the outdoors more than I? I’m sure her teatimes generally include a mug in hand taken to a bench under the fig tree. To simply sit and chat and sip proved a gift to all of us, as my girls gathered around eagerly. Girls-and-tea-and-such just happens spontaneously around here, while the boys snicker from another room or pass on through swiftly, pausing for a sweet and portable treat before vanishing.
Speaking of treats, tomorrow a dear friend-like-a-sister and her daughter-like-a-niece will be joining us for a Cookie Day. Gingerbread and Sugar cookies will spread out in all directions and the frosting-sprinkles-candy-sweets will rain down in happy abandon. By afternoon’s end we will have decorated, sampled, dressed up, and even dropped a few of the plethora baked in anticipation. Like Santa’s elves we will create magic and then we will send them out on plates for this neighbor or that, to friends here and there in our town, taking care to reserve sufficient supplies for our own holiday merrymaking. My sister arrives on Christmas Eve, thus missing this event, but we will surely duplicate it while she is here. You can never have too many cookie days, can you?
For those of you that know I tend to “healthy eating” and whole-food mania, you can rest assured that I have fortified our family body with ample broths and meals in prep for the sweet-treat onslaught. White sugar and flour will be welcomed for the season as I have yet to find a suitable “sugar” cookie made from coconut crystals and whole-wheat flour – but I haven’t stopped looking! I had thought of sharing from my treasure trove of sweet, simple, and healthy recipes for parties, but as time has slipped and I have sought serendipity over stress, that post will have to wait for another day.
As I gently roll my mind back over the past year I smile and celebrate the word “Serendipity” – my chosen word to guide 2011. At so many unknown turns in the road called 2011 I fell back on my special “word” and let the stress roll on by, murmuring gently to myself, “We’ll see . . . we’ll see what God has in store.” Though I could seldom find a rhyme or reason for some of the stuff, I did find comfort and pure joy in leaving off the stress of trying to control it all. I simply rode the waves and laughed (between screams) despite the raucous ride. I held tight to those I love and reminded myself to breathe as life’s coaster dipped and whirled and navigated the loop-de-loops set squarely in my path. Whew! It’s been quite a ride, and I’m ready to board 2012 with equal delight and anticipation. In fact, I tasted the sweetness of freedom with such relish this past year that I have already chosen Serendipity’s close friend as my word for 2012:
Not being one for surprises, I have decided to unwrap the gift of “Celebrate” early and put it to good use right alongside “Serendipity.” So, if you stop by this Christmastide don’t bother looking for me on the fringes with a bedraggled smile and a load to carry, I’ll be the one right by the tree with a cookie in hand and a teapot at the ready. Serendipity taught me that life doesn’t need my fears and worries in order to find the joy; in fact, they obscure the way and siphon the energy that is better used for broad merrymaking than for sweating small details. Opening up the heart and hands, throwing wide the doorway to possibility, and letting expectations blow away has blossomed into a truly wonderful year filled with simple moments of unexpected joy. Please join me in Celebrating all that will come to us and upon us this Holy Season of the gift of great joy for ALL people.
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Now, if I don’t manage to find my way back here before the special day arrives please accept this as my special gift:
From My Family to Yours
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