Here we are on the last Sunday before Christmas! Next Sunday it will actually BE Christmas! However did that happen? It's crazy, this past year has just gone like lightening! The way time seems to be going faster and faster is amazing to me. Is it just me, or does everyone feel this way??? Anyways, it is good to slow down for a few minutes today and dwell on some of the special things from my week, and I thought it would be nice to dwell on some of the special things from this "Holy"day Season that really make me smile!
Celebrating the birth of the Saviour makes me smile. This most gracious and beautiful gift from our Heavenly Father is the centre of my life . . . not just at Christmas Time, but the whole year through. He truly IS the reason for the season, and I am so very grateful that I have had a seeking heart and a teachable heart. I celebrate Christmas all year long in my heart. It's about not the tree or the lights, or the food . . . or een the gifts. It's about the Saviour and a Heavenly Father who loved us enough to willingly send His only begotten son in the flesh to take upon Himself the sins of the world and give us the opportunity for eternal life, and to show us the way back to our Heavenly Home. How can this not bring a smile to anyone's face every day of your life. Jesus . . . the true reason for the season. This makes me smile.
Singing all the Christmas Carols and listening to good Christmas Music on my ipod makes me smile. There is something so very special about the special hymns and songs that we listen to at Christmas that brings a warmth to my heart like nothing else. They are so very beautiful. From the first of December all the hymns in our Sacrament meeting at Church, with the exception of the Sacrament Hymn, are the carols that we all know and love . . . I adore singing them. I adore listening to them. I adore surrounding myself with their beauty and message. I also happen to love Michael Buble's newest Christmas album too, which also makes me smile.
Does that not make you smile too??? I can't wait to watch his Christmas Special on the telly tonight! Yes, I love Michael Buble and not just because he's Canadian either . . . although admittedly that is one of the reasons. I also happen to think he's a fab singer!
They come in many shapes and sizes . . . from the incredible to the edible . . . the Christmas Tree makes me smile. I have always loved decorating my tree and I have always hated to take it down at the end of the holidays. I love to walk through the neighbourhood and see people's Christmas Tree's shining in their front windows. I love to walk through the city and see Christmas Tree's in the shop windows. I just love Christmas Trees! I much prefer a real one to an artificial one . . . that special smile of pine and fir takes me back in my mind to my childhood and the trees we had when I was growing up and all those wonderful feelings associated with the love of family and the holiday season. Who doesn't love that smell . . . it's awesome. Just awesome.
Christmas Stockings make me smile. We didn't have stockings when I was a child. Well, not in the real sense of having a stocking that you could hang up on Christmas Eve and find filled in the morning. Santa used to leave us a red net stocking under the tree and they were ok, but I always wanted a real stocking. My children all had stockings. Each one had been handmade and beaded and sequined by myself and each one was as individual and as different as was each child. I do hope that they still have them . . . I need to make some for my Grandchildren now. I say that to myself each year . . . and then each year passes without me doing it. I need to start in January I think! Perhaps that can be a New Years resolution for myself this year. Make the Grand's each a stocking. Sounds like a plan!
Christmas Baking makes me smile. Although I don't do as much of it these days as I used to when my children were growing up, I still do some and there is always a song in my heart as I go about it. Shortbreads, gingerbread men, sugar stars and trees and stockings . . . thumbprints and mince pies, fruit cakes and stollen . . . they are all wonderful and a special part of this special time of year. There is nothing more cheering than putting on an album of Christmas Music, donning an apron and breaking out the eggs and flour. Ahh . . . Christmas baking . . . it does a heart good.
Wrapping up gifts for my loved ones both near and both far always puts a smile on my face at this special time of year as well. I just love being able to give something special to someone I care about and I put a lot of thought into the gifts I give. Christmas to me is not about getting, it's about giving and sharing love with those around you in a unique and special way. I want my gifts to be a gift for the eyes and for the soul and to be wrapped in all the love that I have for the person they are intended for. When I am wrapping each one I ponder the specialness and uniqueness of the person who's gift I am wrapping and all the love I have for them goes into it along with whatever the gift may happen to be. That makes me smile and hopefully it makes them smile too!!
I could go on and on about all the things at Christmas which make me smile and there are a bazillion of them. I guess what it all boils down to is love . . .
Love for the Saviour and our Heavenly Father, love for family, love for friends, love for our fellow man. This is the message of Christmas.
All over the world at this season,
expectant hands reach to receive
Gifts that are lavishly fashioned . . .
the finest that man can conceive . . .
For purchased and given at Christmas
are luxuries we long to possess,
given as favors and tokens
to try in some way to express
That strange, undefinable feeling
which is part of this glad time of year
When streets are crowded with shoppers
and the air resounds with good cheer . . .
But back of each tinsel-tied package
exchanged at this gift-giving season,
unrecognized often by many,
lies a deeper more meaningful reason . . .
For, born in a manger at Christmas
as a gift from the Father above,
An Infant whose name was called Jesus
brought mankind the gift of God's love . . .
And the gifts that we give have no purpose
unless God is part of the giving
And unless we make Christmas a pattern
to be followed in every day living.
~Helen Steiner Rice
✿•*¨`*•.☆ O'Come ☆ O'Come ☆ Emmanuel ☆.•*¨`*•✿
Todd loves these. He thinks they taste like the bacon and egg pies of his youth. They are delicious for sure and very easy to whip up. They make a wonderful breakfast, not to mention a quick comforting supper on those nights when you have precious little time and want something on the table quickly.
*Ham and Egg Cups*
All your favourite things about breakfast in a muffin shape!!! Biscuit, ham and eggs! Delicious!
1 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix (you can get this in the baking aisle of the grocery store)
¼ cup, plus 2 TBS of cold water
1 tsp instant minced onion
1 package thinly sliced fully cooked ham (about 2 ½ ouces)
Chopped flat leaf parsley
Move oven rack to the lowest position in the oven. Pre-heat oven to 200*C/400*F. Grease six 6-ounce custard cups. Mix baking mix, water and onion until a soft dough forms. Divide between the custard cups and using damp fingers, press the dough in the bottom and up the sides of each cup.
Line each cup with 2 slices of ham. Break an egg carefully into the middle of each cup. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and the parsley flakes.
Bake, uncovered in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, cool five minutes, then loosen by running a knife around each and removing from cups to serve. You can also serve them in the cups, but I love to look at the golden brown outsides sitting on my plate. Enjoy!
Over in The English Kitchen today some delicious Rumpled Pizza Buns!