Outside my window...it is raining, brown and not at all Christmas-y. Inside, however, this house is full of the scents, sounds, and sights of the season. In answer to the question, "Isn't it a nice break to not have to do all the cooking, baking, and other prep that you always did for Christmas when the kids were home?" My answer is "Never going to happen! No break until they take me out of wherever I am feet first!"
And so the cordial is made, bottled and has been tasted and declared perfect. To quote Bob Cratchet, "Punch is a Cratchet speciality!" I have already gifted others with this taste of the season.
Though they haven't burned down as far as in the past we have kept up the Advent tradition. Tomorrow I will replace the colored candles with white, refresh the greens and add a sprig of red or two. I have discovered that the anticipation of the birth of Christ is enhanced when it is coupled with waiting for a grown child to visit.
I am thinking....about all the things the kids and I did together in the past to get ready for the birth of Christ. Cleaning the house, making gifts for the Giving tree, sorting and donating toys for Share a Caring Christmas, baking cookies, singing songs, and decorating the house. Evenings spent watching Christmas specials, with candlelight and hot chocolate warm my heart.
I am thankful...for traditions, both old and new that knit together the generations and carry forward reasons for celebration and togetherness.
I am thankful for food that not only nourishes the body but the heart as well. Across hundreds of miles and many families my father's nut roll recipe is already continuing its job of cementing the generations of Pelicanos near and far together in their bonds.
I am reading...the Diary of Saint Faustina and I am using one of my new bookmarks made for me by Miss Grace Collins. Why is this thing of such great importance to me? Each time I open my book I recite prayers to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows for both myself, Miss Grace, and her family. It reminds me of the extended family that I enjoy in my Catholic faith.
Creatively speaking...my workshop has literally been packed up and put away for the next few weeks. Although I have already accepted a few orders they have distant deadlines so I fully intend to spend the time enjoying Matthew's visit and the celebration of the Christmas season.
Spiritually...my heart is ready for the birth of the Christ child and I look forward to the celebration of Christmas. The glorious music, the solemnity of the mass, and the majesty of the altar and the decorations is the best way that I know to kick off the season.
From the kitchen...I am fully stocked and ready to wow Doug and Matthew with the culinary heart's delight. Actually I will just cook and let the two of them eat at will.
A few plans for the rest of the week...do what Catholics do best when it comes to throwing their Savior a birthday party...eat, drink and be merry!