“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!”… Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” ~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Christmas visits our hearts and homes one week from today. My hope is that you and yours find joy in this season. Take time to relish relationships, savor all that is savory and sweet, love the lovely and the unlovely alike. As Charles Dickens once said, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” As a woman of faith, Christmas holds profound meaning. I struggle with the commercialization of the day Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior. I cringe at the sound of Christmas carols in October, and boycott stores that stay open on Thanksgiving with “holiday” sales. At the same time, I spend countless hours decorating the house, planning our Christmas Eve and Christmas day menus, and enjoying entertaining family and friends. I am filled with joy singing O Holy Night, though I’ve probably sung it thousands of times in my 54 years. There is so much beauty in these moments. Embrace them!
As 2013 draws to a close, I reflect back on what has been an amazing, difficult, and exhausting year of both accomplishment and change in my life. I finally completed a Bachelor’s Degree at New Mexico State University in May after over 3 decades of course work. As a part-time college instructor and freelance designer with no work, I had to do some serious soul-searching as to my future career path. I began considering the possibility of creating a food blog, a choice that allows me to pursue two of my passions – food and writing. While in the midst of all of this, my husband and I had to face our most difficult challenges in 3 decades of parenting. Our faith in God, our wonderful family, and some truly remarkable friends sustained us through some of our darkest days… and nights.
On December 18th, I am done shopping, my house is beautifully decorated, and I look forward to just enjoying the season. Christmas Eve will begin with worship at our small neighborhood church. If time allows, we will then enjoy the luminarias in the historic plaza in old Mesilla. A relatively new Christmas Eve tradition at our house is to enjoy a homemade pot of Menudo – a Mexican soup made with tripe, posolè, and red chile. I will round out the meal with locally made tamales, and my husband’s candied almonds, pfeffernüsse, and cranberry bars. The real indulgence is Christmas Day dinner. Take a look at the menu:
So, with the shopping done, the menus planned, the twinkling lights brightly shining, we are ready to enjoy celebrating the birth of our Savior, and the gifts He has bestowed upon us. I would love to hear how Christmas is celebrated at your house. From our house to your yours, wishes for a most joyous Christmas, and a truly blessed 2014…