hoedls haven
Where Nature is the source of all artistic expression

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Should you ever, for the slightest reason, be interested in creating your own Christmas figgy pudding, it's advised to refer to Mrs. Beeton's English Book of Household Management (1861), which provides the complete recipe:

STEP 1: Combine 2 lbs. of chopped figs with 1 lb. suet, 1/2 lb. flour, 1/2 lb. breadcrumbs, 2 eggs and just enough milk to form a stiff paste.

STEP 2: Press into a basin, cover and boil for "3 hours or rather longer."

I don't know about you, but this does not sound like my idea of the holiday tradition for my household. Yet in some households, this has been one of the treasured traditions through several generations. So much so, that they "won't go until we get some..."

My friend, one of the most cherished holiday seasons of the year is upon us. So take a moment to quiet yourself, leaving behind all the worries and responsibilities of the day... just for a moment.

Now ask yourself:

  • What is missing from my Christmas/holiday experience?
  • What would help in slowing my frantic pace down by at least one step?
  • What do I remember from my childhood that I cherished the most as a child?
  • What would make this moment just a little more holy and meaningful for me?

Over the years, the majority of Christmas, Thanksgiving or holiday meals I've known have occurred where at least one food item is forgotten - it could be a type of cookie dessert, a relish or an old family-recipe dish. You will often hear, "Do you know what we forgot?..." And with that one item, the meal would be complete. Most likely, the same could be said about our Christmas experience. For each of us, there is most likely one item (we could do, we could let go of, a tradition we could instill, etc.) that might make our moment that much more meaningful and rich. Notice I didn't say "that much more full." My friend, find that aspect of the holidays that would bring you that much more closer to home for the holidays.

Volunteer your time, if that's what is missing.

Cut back on your holiday "cheer" and go for a walk to look at Christmas lights, if that's what is missing.

Put down the newspaper and spend a few more precious moments with your spouse and children, if that's what is missing.

Whatever is missing, instill a new family or personal tradition in your Christmas season that forever remembers that important sidedish; that aspect that makes the moment that much more complete.

It's your personal experience of the Christmas season, so don't settle for the sometimes superficial Santa experience. Say to yourself, "I won't go until I get some, I won't go until I get some..."


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