It’s only December 19th, and already my kitchen has gotten quite the workout.
We will celebrate Christmas early with my in-laws this year before heading up to see my side of the family in the northeast. That means I had to get some of my baking and cooking done before we celebrate, then pack, the travel.
I’m afraid I confuse my poor beard because I literally have a running list of everything I want to cook or bake and for when in my head. He desperately wants to help, and I thank him and relegate his usefulness to things like laundry.
I still think of the kitchen as my territory, and those goods I’ll be making for Christmas celebrations and for neighbors are my specialties.
There are “my” cinnamon buns, which are not really mine at all. In fact, they are from the Pioneer Woman blog, and I don’t change a thing when I make them. Why, mess with perfection, I say.
Then there are the Italian Christmas cookies that my mother used to make in bulk every year as far back as I can remember. Madeline enjoyed helping me ice these this year, as well as put sprinkles.
I still have chocolate peppermint pinwheels in my future, as well as brajiolis (not the meat kind, but the super tasty fried rice balls), two kinds of roasted vegetables, and a Norwegian delicacy called rommegrot.
Not to mention finishing the gift wrapping and packing for our week-long trip.
But surprisingly this year I don’t feel so overwhelmed. My Christmas is better focused this year than it ever has been.
I find myself so thankful for the freedom I have. The freedom from my sinful self, the freedom from regret and bitterness. This is the first year I have really felt eternally grateful for what Christmas is: a celebration of the fact that God gave us His son.
Though I have been a believer for a few years now, this year has just meant more to me. Perhaps its because I have experienced tragedy and mourning this past year. Or maybe it’s because I have a smart two-year-old who is learning and reminding me that “Jesus is my superhero, my best friend.”
But because of this new feeling and this new thankfulness, the holiday chores haven’t felt so chore-y. I look forward to blessing others this year, and sharing in the joy of the season.
Most of all, though, I look forward to completing these chores soon, so as to have ample time before Christmas to truly enjoy and savor the moments in celebration with family.