Tag: Christmas cookies

Christmas 2016

How to reflect on this past year.

I’m a little strange. I’ll admit it.

I love Christmas but I also love post-Christmas. After Christmas, I will engage in a lot of reflection about the Christmas season, what I feel I did right, what I could have done better. I’ll take pictures of how I’ve decorated in case I want to copy some of the same ideas next year. (Some I’ve already decided I really, really like.) But mostly my thoughts will center on the events of this last year and how, based on my Christian values, I  responded to life events.

The shopping:  I shopped a lot via the internet this year.  I didn’t like doing it that way but I had little choice.  What little in-store shopping I did do, I accomplished in one or two days. Again, not my favorite way to do things but at least it got done and everyone seemed happy with their gifts. I “crafted” some really cute projects which I usually don’t show till after Christmas because the recipients of those gifts follow this blog.

Christmas 2016

Dining room table centerpiece. Birch candles, dollar tree reindeer, fresh pine, old mental carrier from deck

However, this  year, because they are all so different, I think I might post some pictures next week.

I also did something I’ve been wanting to do since last year. I’ll show you that next week as well.

The baking: Yea!!!!  Great success.  All the cookies, butter cut-outs, raspberry thumbprints, Anzac cookies, and Mexican Wedding cakes turned out great. I also threw together some white bark, pretzel chips, cranberries and made a kind of “candy”. My mom really likes it.

Our home is over one hundred years old and between the kitchen and the mudroom is a small hallway. My husband built some shelves on one side. I lined up all the cookies in my favorite red and white tins, labeled each, and set them on top of a snow blanket interspersed with little trees.

The decorating: I have lots of Christmas decorations. (It’s a big house so I need them, don’t I?) Pretty much everyone room is decorated. But here’s the funny thing. The one room everyone congregates in, the T.V. room, I always kind of forget to decorate! (Note to self-don’t forget this room next year.) It used to be a porch.  There is only one wall and because it’s long and narrow there’s not a lot of floor space and because there is little wall space, it’s hard to decorate anyway. Next year I’ll have to think of a way to decorate with more wall “thingees.”

Christmas 2016

I felt very little pressure or stress this year. I was determined to stay focused and enjoy each moment with no worries about the next ones. I was able to let people be who they are and not let their attitudes affect me.

Christmas Eve will be bittersweet this year. I think my children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, are all aware that there is a really good possibility my mom will not be living in her home next year. I’m going to savor every moment. It’s all about making beautiful memories.

It’s a sunny day today and as I sit and think about the last few weeks I am acutely aware that life won’t always be this good. Christmas’s won’t always be this wonderful. I consider myself a very smart and astute woman and know life is predictable only in its unpredictability. I’m so glad I made the most of this season. I got tired at times but I just drank more coffee and repeated the mantra, “enjoy this moment, enjoy this moment, enjoy this moment.”

Christmas 2016

Now I have a month of “reflecting” coming up.  I’m going to be away from home for much of that time but that will make it easier. I always think better when I’m out-of-town, whether it’s at our cabin or on a beach somewhere.

I started this post with “I’m a little strange. I’ll admit it.” Well, I’m even stranger than you think.

You see I’m one of those people who do believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Of course, any month of the year can be set aside for reflection and resolution-making. I choose New Year’s because to me it just makes sense. January is usually one of the quieter months.  Not a lot to do. And living in Michigan, there’s little one can do outside unless you really like cold weather, which I don’t. So it just makes sense to set this month apart, to eat my leftover cookies and drink hot tea and contemplate.  I would’ve made a great monk!

I would’ve made a great monk!

I don’t know how you anticipate this next year but if you suffer from depression you may feel very discouraged right now thinking “I can’t take another year.” I can remember thinking that way.  If you’re new to this blog, read the archival material. There’s a lot I’ve written already that you might find helpful. Don’t give up. I know only too well how miserable and life-sucking depression is. I wallowed in it a long time.

I don’t anymore.

Not because I’m stronger than you, better than you, or have more faith than you. I just reached a point where I told myself “Rebecca, enough is enough.”

Being depressed didn’t add one day to my life but it certainly killed a few. It was a long, hard struggle (over fifteen years ago now) to mental health but with God’s help, I did it.

You can, too.

God bless and have a good dayl

Hillary Clinton cookie

Whoa! Christmas is almost here.

I was absent from blogging yesterday.

I was absent this morning.

Yesterday, wasn’t feeling so good.

This morning, grocery shopping.

But I’m here now and don’t have a lot to say except I think I’m almost done shopping and buying.

Yea!!!

So I’ll show you some more pictures and hope you will forgive me that this is such a “light” post. Hey, it’s Christmas. We don’t want heavy, do we?

This is my hubby’s Hilary Clinton cookie, pantsuit and all. But there’s more.

HIllary Clinton cookie

 

Here’s my husband’s Donald Trump cookie. I think he was trying to come up with “orangish” hair but it didn’t work.

donald trump cookie

 

These are my granddaughter’s cookies. You can see where the cookie-baking and decorating talent lies.

Selina's cookies

If you’re baking cookies, I hope it’s going well for you. If you need what I consider the best roll-out cookie in the world, check it out here. Seriously, it is so good.

I know most bakers use a sugar cookie recipe but this one is so much better. It’s not so sweet but it’s loaded with butter so it’s extremely tender and yet it holds up well to rolling-out and is easy to frost.

Anyway, keep at it, folks. Repeat after me,

“I’m going to make it. I’m going to make it. I’m going to make it.”

God bless and have a great day.

anzac cookies

so many blessings and yet I fear

I woke up this morning and before I ever got out of bed, I took some time to thank God for yesterday:

img_0484-1

 

 

  • the cookies turned out better than ever

Anzac cookies

  • a normal conversation with my mom
  • a long phone call from my grandson
  • finishing up the Christmas decorations

Christmas decoration

  • finishing my on-line shopping

But if you’re like me, all those good things can cause fear.

I know: silly.

But I can really be like “Chicken Little” at times. It goes back to feeling as though I don’t deserve all this. Well, because I don’t. None of us do.

And yet here I am. Feeling mighty blessed.

But then, there was my husband’s annual check-up today. I always hate this day every year until I get a phone call saying everything is fine. (He’s scared me on more than one occasion.)

Not only was everything fine. It was GREAT!

And tonight we are doing something we haven’t done for years. Attending a play. We’re going out for dinner to a restaurant that we to make reservations for. I’ve been planning what I’m going to wear for days. I realize most people don’t dress-up anymore but I’m going to.  So there.

Anyway, it’s hard sometimes, isn’t it, to know what to do when we feel so fortunate. I do my best to “pay it forward” but sometimes it seems it’s all very lopsided in my direction.

Anyway, find something or someone to be grateful for today. My days aren’t always like yesterday which you know if you follow this blog. But there is always something to be grateful for.

Always.

Gratefulness seems to always attract more good things. 

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

a quiet journey in 2013

Some children looking at a selection of Christ...

Some children looking at a selection of Christmas Cards during the 1910 holiday season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Forgive me for postings two posts tonight that are almost identical. I needed to edit the one I put on Facebook for certain reasons.) 

Last year I wrote about my quiet journey. I re-read it because I wanted to see how far I’ve come. Or if at all. Last Christmas turned out great. Flu and all.

So what’s this year looking like? Let’s just say, I’m burning the midnight oil. but I’m loving every minute of it. Hubby and I have been having a ball making cut-out cookies. There’s nothing more appealing than a man who actually likes making AND decorating cut-outs.

Then my brother dropped off my mom and she helped me make Mexican Wedding Cakes. It was great and as her health has not been good, it was wonderful to have this memory to look back on. I get a little teary-eyed knowing there won’t be that many more so I made sure I tucked away every moment for safe-keeping.

My quiet journey has all been inside. While I’ve been bustling around, I’ve reminded myself often that the true gift of this season is peace and I’ve felt that peace this entire season. That’s  kind of unusual for me. I’m not the peaceful type.

But my peace isn’t because everything in my life is perfect. There’s a couple of people that have thrown a monkey wrench into the holiday season every year. But last year I didn’t let it get to me and I won’t this year either. You see no one can really invade  your peace unless you let them. I’ve come a long way in letting people wallow in their misery and not take me along for the ride.

If you’re dreading being around certain people this holiday season, try to find a way to keep your spirit full of peace and joy. For me it’s through the running conversations I have with God. Like today when my mom was over, “God, I’m so grateful to have this Christmas with her.” Or when my husband and I were cutting out the cookies, “God, thank you for my husband’s love.”

That might sound strange to some of you.That’s OK. We all experience God in our own way. Hang in there and if that old enemy, depression, is nipping at your heels, read the Christmas story; try and feel the quietness and peace of that night. Remember, Christ  was born to redeem us and that means from depression as well.

I hope the next time I write, I’ll be telling you that the cookies have all been baked, the presents all wrapped, and the house finally clear of boxes, glitter, ribbon, etc.. Hmm, seeing as Christmas is only ten days away, I’d better get busy. 🙂

God bless.

 

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