To Kids from One to Ninety-Two

Although it’s been said, many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you.” – Nat King Cole

The chestnuts have been roasted and the open fire has burned to embers. The turkey has been eaten and dishes are being done as the sound of Yuletide carols float away in the frigid air. Another Christmas has come and gone, more quickly than any before it. I am still getting used to this phenomenon called “growing up,” which seems to send time speeding by at an accelerated pace. I do wish the march of time would slow a bit around this special time of year.

While I did not get to try every cookie recipe I had been planning, I did do some Christmastime baking with the help of my lovely sisters. We made peanut butter kiss blossoms, a family favorite long made by Granny, and lemon bars, upon the youngest sis’s request, which turned out to be crowd-pleasers as well. On Christmas Eve morning I arose early to try another recipe that had been queued-up since September when my younger (not youngest) sister brought it back from Ireland with her: buttermilk scones. After her trip to Ireland where she first ate these in a thatched cottage at tea time, she heralded them as the best scones she’d ever had. So on Christmas Eve morning we ate scones with blackberry jam, fresh whipped cream, and Irish breakfast tea. A new tradition was born!

In the grand scheme of things, running out of time to bake cookies is not a big deal. Spending time with family and loved ones, however, certainly is, and I was fortunate enough again to spend Christmas, both Eve and Day, surrounded by the people that mean the most to me in the world. No matter how quickly the days pass, when Christmastime comes we gather together and celebrate the most important gifts in life: one another. This year, in the wake of senseless tragedies around the country and the world, I feel especially blessed and lucky to have my health, my family, and my life, and to be surrounded by such love.

Christmastime presents a reminder of the true, meaningful parts of life: giving, sharing, loving. As Jack Frost continues to nip at our noses through the winter months, let us carry the Christmas spirit of joy, love, and cheer to keep the whole season bright.

Peace on Earth and mercy mild. Merry Christmas season, friends.

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