Amaryllis - Mixed Media Collage - 8x10
As I sit here sipping the last of the eggnog and eating the remaining few cookies, I'm pausing to reflect upon what I think of as one of the best Christmases ever.
Early in October, while eating crabs with our grown kids, the subject of Christmas came up. We all agreed that it's a time of stress and pressure and it doesn't need to be. We agreed to forgo lavish gift giving and decided to limit our gifts to each other to "stocking stuffers" and just relish the time that we spend together.
And the idea worked beautifully. We spent the holiday eating, and playing games, and eating, and laughing, and eating, and playing with the new dog, Emmett, and did I mention eating?
And when it came time to open the stockings, we discovered that we didn't miss the larger gifts at all. And we weren't worried over whether or not the recipient loved our gift. Some of the gifts were useful, some were silly and others were edible (surprise!).
But for me, the highlight of the Christmas celebration came on Christmas Eve day when my boys decided they wanted to make gingerbread men.
We went out together and bought all the ingredients. I found a recipe that I had used many, many Christmases ago, and I let them loose in the kitchen.
My boys, who fought with each other all the time growing up, worked very well together on this project even when they disagreed with methods. They currently live a couple hours apart from each other and don't see each other on a regular basis so I know they enjoyed this time together. And there was laughter. So much laughter.
As the gingerbread men started to take shape there was more interest in the project by other family members and soon my daughter-in-law joined them in the kitchen to help with the decorating and Emmett came in sniffing the air. I will admit that some of the gingerbread guys (well OK most of them) became a little "R" rated and I had to do a lot of careful editing to bring you a "G" rated version of their masterpieces.
OK, that one cookie at the top is not a gingerbread man but a map of the United States depicting the Trail of Tears. (Don't ask.) I have to admit that all the gingerbread, no matter what its shape or rating, was delicious.
As a parting shot, I leave you with a picture of my sons and me. It was like pulling teeth to get them to pose with me. After about a half dozen attempts and much frustration the best we could come up with was the photo below. It makes me laugh every time I look at it because it proves that it is possible to smile while gritting your teeth.
Happy New Year everyone!