I sit here in the silence of the afternoon. The only sound I hear is the familiar rhythm of my fingers dancing over the keyboard and the white noise of the furnace as it works to keep our home warm. I glance at the time and know that soon the sound of the silence will be broken once the children arrive home. Yet that sound is music to my ears.
I quickly pour a cup of my favorite tea and its aroma warms me. The sun gently peeks through the window, its harsh light glides over every surface and shines a spotlight on my face. The warm touch of the sun fills my soul. Simple moments of peace, gratitude and contentment.
As the anticipation of Christmas fast approaches and the chaos of parking lots and shopping malls become an orchestra of out of tune instruments, moments like these are far and few between. This year, I fell into the Christmas trap. The one that makes you over think your decor and stuff your closet with secret presents from Santa, making sure every bow is perfectly tied and decorations hung in absolute symmetry.
All while trying to remind myself that what really matters is not what is under (or on) the tree.
There was a time in my family’s life when my husband nor I knew where our next meal would come from, but we never lost faith.
Sure enough, friends and family would be knocking at our doors with bags full of food or school supplies for our children, all showing us the love of God through their giving heart.
I am not one to dwell in the past as I think the past belongs there, behind us. But I never want to take for granted the lessons learned during those hard times.
I think the past makes us who we are. We are no longer a blank canvas. Life is the painter and every story in our past is a stroke from the brush which will one day form the beautiful masterpiece that is you.
During the time when we could not afford to buy our family Christmas presents, we resorted to what we knew best and that is making homemade gifts and even though they didn’t cost much they were filled with so much joy. Here is a quick and easy gift idea for this holiday season.
I am not a baker but this gingerbread recipe is fool proof.
They are delicious and their aroma smells like the essence of Christmas.
Gingerbread sticks recipe
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup molasses
¼ cup water
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) softened butter
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, mix molasses and water.
Beat butter and brown sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses mixture, then dry ingredients to form a stiff dough, adding up to 1/4 cup extra flour if dough is sticky. Quarter the dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm or about 1 hour (can be refrigerated up to 1 week or frozen up to 1 month).
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Working with 1 portion of dough at a time on a heavily floured work surface, roll into a 9″ by 7″ rectangle. Sprinkle dough with 1 tablespoon of sugar, and use the rolling pin to press sugar into dough. Cut dough into approximate 9″ by 1/2″ sticks. Place sticks about 1/2-inch apart on a parchment.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, rotating each sheet from back to front and switching rack positions after 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool to room temperature (can be stored in a tin for 2 weeks)
It is my( hope that this year you are able to enjoy a little bit of silence and embrace the sound of the real meaning of Christmas which is peaceful and filled with hope.
Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win the new iPad(click on the photo to enter).