Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Season of Giving

It's the most Wonderful time of the year!
This is the time of year when we count our blessings and plan our gift-giving. It won't be long before Santa begins his annual journey 'round the world! We plan feasts, we bake and create and we shop until we drop (well, almost!).  

We think about all of the people who have come into our lives, people who have made a difference in some way during the year...friends, loved ones...strangers. It is during this reflection, interestingly enough, that I find myself wishing that I could give back to each one with a little remembrance. A little thank you for the smile they shared, the phone call they made, the time they took to listen to me.
When I was small, gift giving centered around the children. Grandparents, parents, friends and Santa showered us with surprises that were lovingly left under the Christmas tree. My mom always said that Christmas is for the children. Now in my 60's, I continue to embrace the magic of giving. While I strive to work in my studio year-round, I especially love to create at this time of year. 
Our kitchen is always awhirl with activity!

Trays and trays of shortbread, pounds of espresso chocolate bark,
loaves of pumpkin bread and lots of peanut brittle
 are prepared annually for everyone.
Special attention is given to the wrapping to complete the presentation!
The advent calendar reminds us of the approaching celebration. 
The Nativity is gently unpacked and displayed.

Special notes ♪ ♪ are handwritten inside Christmas cards.
The Christmas tree takes its place in the corner of the room and
waits to be adorned with colorful lights and decorative treasures. 
Art projects of long ago reappear just in time for the holidays!
 Stocking stuffers are carefully selected for
each recipient and wrapped with love.
Letters of wishes are written and left for Santa with a cup of milk and
homemade cookies.  Bits of carrot are left for the reindeer. 
Like a well rehearsed dance, we repeat each wonderful tradition year after year. Silently, without even thinking about it...the traditions are renewed and embraced with love. These small gestures are gifts from the heart. Many don't cost a dime and yet, they are all priceless. With every ornament we hang, every task we complete, we are giving with love.
So, as the season of giving begins, may your preparations be wrapped with love. Give with your's the thought that counts!  I'm looking forward to the hustle and bustle of baking and creating! I hope you are, too!