As I wrapped Christmas presents this year, I was surprised at how little time it took! Yes, there are a lot less presents this year and each year they shrink as the people I buy for grow older and prefer a few specific things rather than endless gifts to rip through on Christmas morning. I remember wrapping every small gift for my neices, friends and my own kids so they could get some Christmas magic that Santa left the night before. Here are some things I love about Christmas.
Wrapping Presents and Listening to Christmas Music
Wrapping presents made me think of what really makes this season so special for me. I love listening to Christmas music, there is a station in Toronto 98.1 CHFI that plays Chistmas music from mid November! I always tune in when I am in the car, sing out loud to the popular and pray quietly to the religous ones. Music always gets me in the spirit and reminds me of the joy of a baby coming to save us all.
Baking and Cooking
Traditional Christmas cake for Jamiacans is a labour of love, soaking dried fruits in rum and wine starts very early. I love to put my fruits to soak a year in advance, when I bake in December I put a fresh batch of raisins, currants and prunes in my special container to soak with white rum and wine for the next year. I like to make my Christams day menu in advance, I was looking for a recipe and found a menu in my day planner for Christmas in 2015! The menu is mostly the same but each year I add a new recipe to give my family a treat. I am adding a vegetarian option this year – Fennel, Carrot and Leek Gratin.
It is the season of giving and I love to give what I can when I can. There are so many worthy causes out there but I give to the Salvation Army kettle when I am in the mall. I also give to sports teams that come to the supermarket to collect funds to keep their teams going for another year. There is also the gift of home made cakes and cookies that I give to close friends who have been there for me through it all. Giving food the food bank is also a great way of ensuring others get a warm meal for the holiday.
I usually leave some vacation at the end of the year to ensure I am off for the holidays, I use some of the time to read, reflect and give thanks for the year I had. When the children were younger there was no quiet time and I enjoyed the fun an laughter in the home! Now I get quiet time to reflect. It is good to read the verses in the bible that tells about the coming messiah, it never gets old and brings back wonderful memories of hearing these verses read in Church as a child.
As you get ready for the busy holiday, dont forget to take time to remember why we celebrate, the love we share with each other is more than any gift you can buy at a store. Time spent with family eating, laughing and fellowshipping is more precious now that we are in a pandemic. Be kind to one another, forgive past mistakes and make this Christmas the best you can for your family and friends. Walk good.