Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas is Coming...

...and the preparations are beginning here. This week, after spending Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday proofreading my book and sending the corrections/changes back to the publisher, I was delighted to turn my thoughts to the joys of Christmas baking. Four friends gathered to bake a variety of cookies together, nibble on snacks, chat and drink a bit of bubbly (with festive hibiscus flowers in our glasses). Have you ever tried these? They are so pretty, and the syrup makes the wine taste like dessert!
Julie, Heidi, Denise, Kristin and me
Denise & Kristin, mixing it up, with Heidi's reflection
Some of the results, which we all shared with our families
Yesterday was our annual trip to the tree farm with the family of the Drs. B. We love sharing this tradition, which we started with our children, with the Bs (and now their exchange student, Gogo). I only wish that their daughter and David could have joined us, but they are both still away at college. David will be arriving later this week, and I can't wait to see him!
At the tree farm with Gogo and the B. family. I think "the dudes" were a bit chilled by this time!
After choosing and cutting our trees, we paid for them and tied them onto our cars. We drove back home to enjoy a pot of homemade chili, cornbread, fresh pineapple and some of those Christmas cookies. The boys played Monopoly and we visited; it's always great to be with the B family.

Now, it's time to decorate the tree and the house, and work on cards and gift-wrapping. The smell of fir needles is a pleasure that inspires the spirit of the season!

I love the Advent scriptures:
"The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor,
to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD
and a day of vindication by our God.

I rejoice heartily in the LORD,
in my God is the joy of my soul;
for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation
and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
like a bride bedecked with her jewels.
As the earth brings forth its plants,
and a garden makes its growth spring up,
so will the Lord GOD make justice and praise
spring up before all the nations."
- Is 61:1-2a, 10-11

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy
- Luke 1


Ellen said...

I'm a big fan of traditions...and having loving family and friends with the holidays, brings happy spirits out in all of us.

Oh my goodness all those cookies!!!! How many did you sample that evening? I would be nibble, nibble, and sippy, sippy till I would burst.
What a wonderful evening you all had.

Allegra Smith said...

Just five days! Today, sore throat or not I am making Pane Forte by popular requests. (Mostly mine and Elinor's that generously took with her the rest of the scones so I can still get into my petite 8 jeans.

Everything looks divine and I am dancing on the head of a pin with anticipation. Here is totally done since last week and it looks so peacefully cheerful and filled with Light. I will post some more photos later. Hugs to be delivered in person before we know it :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Hibiscus flowers in your wine??? Am I the only one who does not know about this???
Your baking party looks so festive and FUN.
I love this tree farm tradition too, so happy that David is coming back home!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued with your Hibiscus flowers in bubbly. I'm going to seek that out for our own holiday fun! Congratulations on finishing your editing of the proof - wow!!!

Karen B.

Karen said...

Looks like you are having such a good time, and managing to move forward on your book as well. You, for all purposes, got your book done in 2011! Pretty much finished. I wonder what 2012 will hold for you? I will enjoy watching from my computer! Merry Christmas to a beautiful, inspiring woman, who has become so dear to my heart. Happy New and Exciting Year ahead, too!
Much love, Karen EAST