The Perfect Recipe For A Merry Holiday Season
Well, folks, we have been in the midst of a pandemic for 9 months now and counting, and we’ve lived to tell about it! And though it has been an extremely challenging time for many, if we inspect closely, we can also see that we have been able to make good use of this time and have actually thrived. We have planted and watered some good seed in the “Soil of 2020” and we are looking for a harvest. Oh, and do I dare mention that we survived the Presidential election? Whew! And life has continued, the holiday season is here, and aren’t we glad?! 2020 has been a year, and we want to enter this season intentional about making the most of it, enjoying it and finishing this 4th quarter of 2020 strong, entering 2021 high steppin’ like the drum major! And I’ve got just the recipe for ya!
A BUNCH OF GRATITUDE. “Gratitude makes what we have enough, and more. It turns a house into a home, it turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” …Melody Beattie said that. And I know it to be true! This Holiday, make sure you take some significant time and Count. Your. Blessings! Count every single one of them! Remind yourself that you really do have all that you need, and tell those you love and who love you that you are grateful for them. Take advantage of the slower pace that the pandemic has forced on us by leaning into your relationships and savoring every moment! If practiced, gratitude will shift your entire perspective and every opportunity and every good thing…even the not-so-good thing – – will add richness to your holiday, set you up to go into the new year optimistic, and give deeper meaning to your life!
A HEART FULL OF JOY! A natural by-product of gratitude is joy! You can’t possibly be intentional about practicing gratitude, counting all those blessings, being grateful that you are loved and have people to love you, and not have an increased sense of innate feelings of well-being and happiness. That’s what joy is and it’s infectious! Spread it like confetti!
MIX IN SOME CREATIVITY! Now realistically, this holiday season is going to be challenging. For some of us, it will be the first time in years or decades where we won’t be at grandma’s or Aunt Pam’s for our traditional holiday gathering. That’s a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. We can stir up those creative juices and still have a meaningful and wonderful holiday. We can start some new traditions. Here are a few examples: Practice hospitality using your outdoor spaces. Invite guests to have tea or hot apple cider on your porch or deck – – social distance of course. Get a fire pit, make smores, and watch a movie on the laptop. Try a new recipe. Find a new craft to enjoy with the kids, and do it with grandma via Zoom. I’ve actually got a video on my YouTube channel walking you through making a beautiful centerpiece. Speaking of tables, when is the last time you and your family actually set your table and dressed for dinner? Do this with those who live in your household! Alternatively, if this is your norm, then loosen up and everybody put on fun pajamas and order takeout and eat it right out of the container. Just relax and have fun!!
TOP IT OFF WITH GENEROSITY! This is the proverbial icing on the cake! If you are truly grateful, and you have the kind of joy that isn’t contingent on circumstances but born out of an awareness of how blessed you are, then share it! This year, extend yourself to someone less fortunate than you. Be deliberate about being charitable in this season and beyond. Are you giving to the poor? Are you supporting a college student? Is there an elderly neighbor that you could make a meal for or have some groceries delivered to? Is there a young mom who could use some encouragement? Well, send them a note and a gift card. This is my “recipe” for a meaningful holiday!
Oh, and I should at least include one real recipe, huh? Well, few things say “winter” like a nice, hot beverage. So here is a recipe for a delicious Holiday Tea!
1. Brew some black tea. Decaf is fine (my preference is Earl Grey) 2. Add desired sweetener while still warm. (sugar or honey) 3. Put the sweetened tea in a crockpot or a large pot, then add sliced apples and oranges (wash well and keep peel on), fresh cranberries, cinnamon and a few clove pieces
4. Let it simmer in the pot on low 5. Serve nice and hot and be sure to get lots of fruit in your cup 6. After you have slowly enjoyed every sip, eat the fruit! 7. It goes well with a scone or pastry and is equally as delicious served cold with your meal. And yep, it’s as delicious as it sounds!
Friends, if we have been paying attention, 2020 has taught us many new lessons and reinforced some things that we may have forgotten or taken for granted. And I hope that this piece has also helped to remind you of what’s most important, which is not so much the tangible, but the intangible. Make this holiday special by making it more about giving than getting. Make it about counting gains and not losses. Focus on being good neighbors. Most of all, recognize that the Creator has blessed us in ways that demand us to be charitable in our thinking and behavior toward others. Let us end 2020 determined to be grateful, full of joy, creative in the ways we live and enjoy our blessings, and notorious for our generosity! I pray that you and your loved ones will be safe and will have a Happy Holiday and burst into 2021 with much anticipation and purpose!
Peace and Blessings ~ Deborah