Family and friends who have known me for a long time know how much I love Christmas. Young children in both my Florida and South Carolina neighborhoods referred to my home as the "Christmas House." They frequently would stop by to check out the decorations (inside and out) with barely controlled excitement.
Those who attended my Kids Candy Day threw that control right
out the window. Picture a group of kids (and me) stirring up a bundle of holiday delights in my kitchen with flour and sugar flying, icing dripping, melted chocolate being divided (not always evenly) between chocolate molds and little mouths, and laughter and smiles. So much laughter. So many smiles.
Those children are all adults now and have scattered to various colleges and professions but a couple of them still stop by for Christmas fun in the kitchen. There may not be as much flying four and sugar but smiles and laughter...and hugs...are still in abundance.
I've been having a little trouble getting into the mood for Christmas baking and candy making this year. The past four months have been difficult. I've lost two friends and my brother, Jim. All unexpected. It's been hard to find my Christmas joy but in the past week that's begun to change. It started last Sunday with a rare pre-Christmas snowfall here in North Carolina. I went to bed Saturday night surrounded by green and awoke Sunday morning to a winter wonderland. I couldn't help but think it was a message from Jim, a reminder of growing up in Michigan and all our wonderful memories of playing in the snow as kids. Even as an adult, he always got excited over the first snowfall, Face-timing me so I could enjoy that excitement with him. He also loved to cook and bake and was my generation's keeper of our grandmother's delicious fudge recipe. Our snowfall made me think of the hours he happily spent in the kitchen making that fudge and, more importantly, the joy he received by giving it all away...to the mail carrier, the women in the apartment complex office, his favorite cashier at Walmart. He loved making people smile. He loved making his big sister smile.
Slowly, over this past week, my spirit has been lifting. I'm starting to read some Christmas romances (more on those later), I've been playing Christmas music, I'm making chocolates and other goodies to bring smiles to others this holiday season. I had a "chat" with my brother and told him his Heavenly message had been received.
And, just now, as I'm typing this, I received a text from one of those grown-up children I talked about earlier. She wanted me to know she and her boyfriend are home from grad school and ready for "Elf Duty" if I need any help in the kitchen. They're coming over this afternoon.
The spirit of Christmas is re-awakening in my heart and though I will always miss those who no longer dwell with us here on Earth, I have no doubt they are smiling down upon me from Heaven.
What gets you into the spirit of the holidays?
I have three packages of romances looking for new homes. Winners will be randomly chosen from among comments posted by 11:00 pm, December 15, 2018. (U.S. only)