Where is Christmas? Geographically? Metaphorically? It is in our hearts and minds, our homes and mailboxes. It is out in my community and on my festive socks right now.
But I think in most families, Christmas starts in the kitchen. On all sensory fronts: Your mom's adult soft rock Christmas music on the under-cupboard radio. The scent of mulled cider wafting up the stairs. The feel of your Christmas tableware as you serve it to the table. The taste of peppermint candy canes swiped when no one was looking. The counter tops covered with cookies cooling on racks.
This weekend, we spent a lot of time stirring, baking, kneading and rolling in the kitchen. We went to my grama's for our annual cookie bake-fest. There were a lot of people but, you know, it didn't feel chaotic (or maybe I'm just immune to it now). My aunt, who visits every year from Greece, showed the younger ones how to hold shapes out of the dough.
We filled several cookie sheets full of 'unique' creations. Some festive, some abstract.
Summer was in charge of quality control. (Yeah, she has a booger. Our quality standards are remarkably low).
It was a really sweet tradition, baking the cookie recipe I remember eating as a little girl. Watching old and young together.
Back in our home, the oven's been getting a workout. Gingerbread, homemade soup, casseroles, oatmeal cookies. This week: the turkey, shortbread, dinner rolls. I've been enjoying having Abby home, especially when she pulls a chair up the counter and helps or even takes over meal preparation. Thank goodness for the big sister.
As this week marches on and the solstice rolls around, I'll be turning inward and tuning out from my online activities. I wish peace and joy to you. Merry Christmas.