Saturday, December 24, 2011

What happens when they don't believe?

While we are preparing for our holiday today, I was struck by a conversation I had with a co-worker yesterday. "Does Tori still believe in Santa Clause?" I explained that yes she does, and that we encourage that he's a spirit that lives in us. But I don't think that did it real justice.

I will be ... Hang on, I have to think ... 2012 - 1984 = 28 next month. I honestly don't think about what my age will be, but rather my children's. But I am 27 at the moment, and I still believe in Santa Clause.

Why? Because I fervently believe that he is like the Parables used by Christ to demonstrate the joy of giving, and what it feels like to receive. I believe that Santa is really all of us, reaching out to make someone's holiday a little better, a little brighter, and a little more special.

What saddens me, is this feeling of helping others, giving to others, only lasts this one season. And unlike the parable of Santa, we have as a society only really granted those special favors to our loved ones, or ones we feel deserve it. Think about it. .... Just think for a moment about it.

The gift of a smile? It might actually cost you a few minutes of conversation.

The gift of a helping hand? It might cost you fifteen minutes. Maybe a few bucks.

The GIFT of a loving friend? That could cost you a lifetime of visits.

We used to as a society go down in the dredges and help others. But now we feel fear at helping others we don't know. But we are more than willing to throw a few bucks at it to make it go away and to 'ease our conscience' slightly.

When I was in a deep bought of postpartum depression, while hey, a few bucks helped me mingle by. I can never forget the one person, who cared enough to entertain me, to encourage me, and to help me. It's a kindness that I never will be able to repay. Even if things get rocky, and we don't speak for months. She is still in my prayers every night. And if she pops in my mind for a single second during the day, I still take my time to pray for her. She knows who she is. If she doesn't, all you need to know, she turned me on to the magic of making bread for my family.

So this Christmas, I choose to be thankful for my Santa Clauses. You dear people who encourage and strengthen me. Who make me want to be a little more compassionate in the world. While I may fail that at times, at lot of times in the past couple of months. Know that your kindnesses have always reminded me when I'm crabby, stubborn, and just plain bitchy... I need to show a little more kindness and compassion. I need to get out there more and help those who I can. Not just to strive through one more day, but to help build a lifetime of passion for life. A Passion for the good things, a passion for the bridges that we cross daily, and the rivers of knowledge that we gaze into.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A weekend of Celebration!

This weekend marked the 5th birthday of my darlin'. My Ian Marcus. Do you know, I love that little boy? That frustratingly sweet child of mine. The child who is just like his father. He's had a good birthday! While today is his official birthday, we celebrated on Saturday. He had several people come to visit, one though was visiting me, more on that later.

I think his favorite present is still... the toy Black and Decker Chainsaw! His first thing, I'm gonna go cut trees. Hey... I have a boy. One of those hyper blue blood boys old movies were made of. I love him. Granted, he still loves to play with dolls, his sister wanted to use the Chainsaw too. It was a win-win. God love them!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Starting my Christmas...

We generally try to mourn Thanksgiving for a bit. You know, indulge in it's leftovers, bask in the togetherness... mourn for the distended waistlines.

So this weekend, we have officially began decorating for the Christmas Season! I've also began baking, and have... mostly successfully attempted to make Rainbow Cookies. I also had much more success with Almond Paste.

Several Notes: On the Almond Paste, depending on the grade of your food processor. I've found it is EASIER to get those almonds to almost power prior to adding your hot sugar syrup. If you are like me, and can't afford high powered processors. This will help save your motor, and allow you to keep that hard paste feeling, without having to water it down too much. I still had to add simple syrup.

On another note - Making Rainbow cookies? DO IT! But do it better than I did! Thin Thin layers! less is more on the Jam. You really need just a thin layer, because you will be compressing this cookie, and it will help those layers set to each other. You are wanting to glue, not lubricate. (Yeah - by the way... I totally did THAT the other way around! I lubricated my thick layers of cookie with jam.)

The other note, is on your chocolate layer, use the cup of Dark Chocolate, and give it a threesome in a pan with some butter and heavy cream. Not enough to make a Ganache, but enough to make it spreadable and not to seize on you!

That being said... enjoy the pictures of my labor.