Saturday 19 December 2009

Small and simple gestures of love . . .

christmas candles Pictures, Images and Photos

"A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; it makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away."
~Eva Logue

Part of the wonder of this festive season is that it can be found in the smallest things and the most humble of people. It's in the small and simple gestures that bring a smile to the face and a song to the heart, not in big packages tied up in even bigger bows . . .

An evening spent with family, simply watching a Christmas Movie together with a big bowl of popcorn for sharing is a beautiful memory to build and doesn't cost a thing.

Dressing up warmly and wandering through the neighbourhood with family and friends early in the evening and sharing carols door to door is a gesture that costs nothing but your time, and is guaranteed to bring joy into other people's lives and a warmth to your own heart that is priceless.

Spending an afternoon baking Christmas cookies with your children, or husband, or even by yourself, that you can take around to the neighbours, or any elderly shut in's that you know. A wonderful gift of service and another special memory built together.

Piling into the car and driving around the neighbourhood to look at all the pretty Christmas Lights. Something else that costs nothing more than your petrol and your time and, yet again, another special memory built.

Taking a few hours one afternoon, and calling all the people that are special to you, and that you have not spoken to in a while on the telephone just to say hello and to wish them a Merry Christmas. This may cost a few pennies, but it is a gesture guaranteed to put a smile on quite a few faces, including your own!

Christmas is in the loving. It's in the selfless little gestures and thoughts that are so very easy to spread and to share. And it costs not a cent.

"The love in your heart wasn't put there to stay . . . . Love . . . . isn't Love, til you give it away."

I'm not sure where those words come from, but they sure ring with truth to my heart. How about yours?

Oh, but we did have a lovely time with the snow yesterday! We got about 8 inches or more all told and more is expected at some point. It seemed everyone was out and about walking around and enjoying it! The roads were a bit treacherous, but as long as you didn't have anywhere pressing to be that was not a problem. I am lucky in that I live where I work! My friend Jo's husband had to drive all the way up to Newcastle. It took him almost twice the time, but thankfully he got there safe and sound!

Today I'm sharing a lovely recipe that would be a great addition to your holiday menu, especially if you are having a roast beef, pork or ham instead of a turkey. A delicious gratin made with potato and celeriac. In truth, this tasty gratin is delicious made with any combination of vegetables. Try some sliced rutabaga in with the potato, or even a combination of sliced sweet and regular potatoes. They're all totally delicious! I have given quantities here for two servings, but this is quite easily multiplied to serve more!

*Celeriac and Potato Gratin*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

I often make a potato gratin, but only recently discovered just how wonderful the delicious addition of celeriac is. I Love the wonderfully tasty combination of the two vegetables, meltingly soft and tender in a rich and creamily delicious sauce. What's not to love about this, and, it's special enough to be served at your holiday dinner as well. It goes wonderfully with roast beef and pork, and indeed turkey! This recipe is very easily multiplied to serve more.

2 ounces of butter
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 white onion, peeled and finely sliced
half of a celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large baking potato, peeled and thinly sliced
about 2 cups of cream
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly butter a shallow gratin dish and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the garlic and onion. Fry gently for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften and become very fragrant, stirring them from time to time.

Add the potato and the celeriac. Stir gently. Mix in the cream, season generously with grated nutmeg, salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat immediately and carefully transfer the boiling mixture to your prepared baking dish. Place the dish in a roasting tray. Pour in hot water so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the gratin dish. Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown, and the vegetables are fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Over on The English Kitchen this morning, some delicious Christmas Morning Doughnut Muffins, spiced and filled with mincemeat, with a buttery cinnamon sugar coating. Scrummy!


  1. I hope you enjoy your snow for some time to come. My Miss 16 is in Switzerland on exchange. We are missing her but were so excited that she got to have her first snow fight yesterday.

    Thank you for your timely post. The Christmas spirit is just not here right now. I hope to find it soon.

    Lots of love from thurderstormy Queensland, Australia.

  2. We have only light snow here. We may get up to an inch today but that is all. Glad you didn't have to be out driving on the hazardous roads. Hope your weekend is a great one!

  3. Alas, we have no snow here. Got your card, thanks so much - sent you one back but not sure it will make it in time. Just wanted to say thank you, Marie, for being you. You are such a wonderful person and my life is much richer for knowing you. I was wishing and hoping we would get some snow - but no, all we got is gray skies and cold. Much love - Raquel XO

  4. Lovely Christmas thoughts and pictures.
    O.K. you got me again....what is celeriac? Is it celery? I have never heard of it.
    Must run....I am trying to do my smiles post today because I won't have a minute tomorrow. I have a thousand things to get done today so I should really let the blog go but...What am I like??? I have to take some time for my blog friends don't I?

    have a a great weekend. I'm sending love as always, Lura

  5. Loved your nice to have snow too..I'm still waiting for it! Yum to that bottom recipe too! Love ya1 :D

  6. What a lovely post, Marie! Love all these wonderful family ideas to enjoy together at Christmas time!

    What delicious looking potatoes! Love the way they sound!

    Hope you're enjoying all the snow--sounds magical! Much love to you on this busy Saturday!

  7. Had to come back and thank you for the most touching post of the year! I especially love the suggestions for keeping Christmas warm, simple and Christ centered!


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