I have a friend who is hurting right now. She has received hard news, and her heart is broken and my heart breaks for her. I would fix it all if I could; wouldn't we all, given the chance?
But of course I can't. I can pray like crazy, I can listen and I can be supportive. I can also cook and I can bring drinks, because sometimes, you just need good food and a good drink.
There is a lot of negative in the world right now. I could blame it on the recent election, but I think it has more to do with our mindsets. It's easy to latch onto the doomsday mentality. It's easy to get sucked into our own head space and worry and turmoil.
The holidays for me are a beautiful, magical, wonderful time of year. I know that is not true for everyone, but for me, it is.
So I begin celebrating early. I am ok with that. It makes me happy, it makes me feel good, and if I end up sharing my holiday goodies with you on a random Wednesday, then I am willing to bet you will judge me a little less harshly.
So I beg you, don't freak out if someone is singing Christmas carols already, or if they have their Christmas decorations out. Don't tell me "IT'S NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING YET", because isn't the fact that we get to celebrate Thanksgiving at all, circle back to that little miracle baby we celebrate at Christmas?
Wouldn't the world be a better place if we could all live every day with that special shimmer that Christmas brings, or even if you are of a different religion, the warmth that comes from the holiday season? Shouldn't that be something we try with all our might to bring to others all year round? Not everyone is better at the holidays, there are the few whom it bring out the worst in. I've seen it, I know them.
But overall, if you look past the gift buying, and the rushing around, if you look at the smiles and the joy, for all that is good, look at the children. It's the one time of year that even the kids who have it pretty bad, get a chance to dream, get a chance to believe. As a society, we tend to remember those less fortunate this time of year. And I for one, would love to see that all year round.
So I will hold my head up high, I will sing my Christmas carols at the top of my lungs, I will put up my Christmas decorations the minute I feel like it might bring extra joy where it is needed and I will not feel badly about it.
Whatever brings you joy, go and do it and if it can bring joy to others, even better.
Open yourselves up to the world around you, everyday. Don't wait for a special holiday or a special season or even a special occasion. Light up the world around you with love and with happiness, others will feel it too.
I want my people to feel that love everyday and I want just a little extra of it during the holidays.
So if I start feeling festive and begin loving on everybody a little harder a month earlier than I am suppose to, then so be it. I am ok with it. It makes me happy, it makes me smile, and how can that be a bad thing?
Go make this chex mix recipe, turn off the tv, bring out a board game, gather your people. You will thank me. Your house will smell delicious, your friends will like you better and you can freeze it in gallon baggies to bring out during the holidays later because it makes a huge batch! Go forth, eat, drink and be Merry (or at the very least, a little less cynical).
Holiday Chex Mix
6 cups cheerios
6 cups wheat chex
6 cups rice chex
one bag of thin pretzel rods
1 can mixed nuts
2 cups peanuts
Mix all of the above in a large roasting pan. I use one like this, (without the rack in it!). You can even buy a large disposable one at the grocery store!
In a medium sauce pan, heat the following on low on the stove top till the butter is melted.
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cup salted butter
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
4 TBLS Worcestershire
1-3 TBLS Tobasco sauce (depending on if you like a little kick)
Pour over the cereal mixture. Give it a good stir. Put it in the oven at 200 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.