Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas baking in spite of the flu

My Christmas baking and candy making will cause sweet aromas to filter out from the kitchen today, even if I must prop myself up to get them done. For the "bug" that brought my son home early from his classes at the community college on Monday "bit" me yesterday.

What is it about flu symptoms? You are perfectly fine one minute and then the next, you find yourself on the sofa with a soft pillow and a throw trying to keep you warm in the midst of chills and fever? Why can't it be like a cold, when you feel the scratchy throat and swollen glands you know you must finish important projects because tomorrow you may not feel well?

Anyhoo, I finished the mini loaves of orange cranberry bread on Monday and they are individually wrapped in plastic wrap and slipped into a freezer bag. Today I'm feeling a little better so I'll make my "Homemade Mounds" candy and another simple recipe, one that doesn't require much preparation. I'll probably wash my hands very well and roll the Mounds candy into small balls and then freeze them as they are, dipping them in chocolate later in the week.

On Sunday we will meet my husband's brother and sister for our annual dinner at a favorite steak restaurant near the Interstate (where it will be easy for them to meet us on their way to my brother-in-law's house an hour away). The delicious "fancy" dinner is his Christmas present to our family and his sister. My gift for years has been a big gift bag for each of them of homemade baked goods and candy. I freeze the baked goods (made in the individual loaves if they are quick breads) in freezer bags and they can keep them frozen to pull out later. Neither are married (my husband's sister never married, his brother divorced long ago) and there is no one to bake homemade goodies for them, it is a gift they appreciate.

Joanna, I went through my November and December posts from last year and couldn't find the one where I talked about the list I made of what was important for me at Christmas. I'll write more about it later this week (as the computer is available). It helped me a great deal! It was fun going back and reading those posts and oh so hard to believe a year has passed!

On Thanksgiving morning, I was chatting with my daughter on the phone in between putting the turkey in the oven and peeling the potatoes. I reminded her that last year at this time, I was still in full homeschooling mode and teaching my homeschool co-op class from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. What a delightful experience that was and it truly seemed impossible to both of us that a year had gone by so quickly... another reminder to make the most of each day we are given. It also reminded me I still have homeschool ponderings to write about.

What a remarkable gift we are given each year during this Season. In the midst of the chaos and suffering in this world, we have permission to decorate the house with snowmen who smile at us but don't make puddles on the carpeting, ornaments and accessories which glitter and sparkle and bring us beauty, old well-loved objects that any other time of the year would appear absolutely tacky but in December... are quite appropriate, greenery with red ribbons, mysterious packages, and if you are blessed enough to have little children in the house... a sense of awe and wonder and excitement which (combined with sugar highs) make December 25th seem far away this last week of November. :)

As I've already mentioned this week, I have chosen for the next month not to concentrate on what is lacking or missing this Christmas but to see the cup filled with the amazing gift of another day to walk this planet. I can choose to complain or I can choose to overcome (Blessed are the Overcomers)... do some decorating, listen to gorgeous Christmas music, bake cookies, mix candy, wrap inexpensive gifts, pray... ponder.

This year I have set up my favorite creche, purchased at a garage sale a few years ago, on a small table next to my front door. It reminds me that Jesus is the Reason for the Season is much more than the saying on a bumper sticker... it is the Truth. It is this Truth that makes it possible to choose Life and when you stop to think about it... I mean really think about it... this is why we have a celebration of Light in the darkest time of the year... whatever the Malls may advertise. :)

As for the picture above, I plugged the mouse into my son's laptop and "saved" some pictures from last year's Christmas posts. I can just hear what he will say when that day will arrive that he finds in his "My Pictures"... some of Mom's!


karen said...

I hope you feel better soon. What is it about holidays and the flu? I was sick with the flu last Christmas. Feel better! Blessings, Karen

smilnsigh said...

So sorry about the flu!!!!!!!


Terri said...

Um, if you need a volunteer to taste test those mounds candies, I'll do it!!!!
Hope you are feeling better.
God bless.

Anonymous said...

a bit of virtual TLC coming your way, you poor thing. rest now.

Anonymous said...

< When I had a quiet moment, I wrote down everything that I would love to do during the Holidays and those things I did but I didn't enjoy. What I found was that money had little to do with it. >

The post doesn't have a date on it, but it's right above the one you wrote on Nov. 6th last year.
jo :)