18th Century Crèche at The Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, ConnecticutMerry Christmas to one and all.  ‘Tis the Season to be jolly, happy, warm and filled with all sorts of good cheer.  At this time of year, The Goddess has more of a tendency towards sentimentality than usual.  Sentimentality is in her nature.  She cries over greeting cards, for God’s sake.  It’s embarrassing.  At this time of year, The Goddess become more introspective and retrospective.

First and foremost, I want each and everyone who reads this blog, to know how thankful I am to have you in my blogging life, if not my daily life.  At times, I guess, they are sort of the same thing.  I hope you are finding some things here that makes your meal preparation easier and more fun.  If there is something you would like to see here, all you have to do is ask.  Seriously, I would love to know what you want to cook, to learn, to understand; anything that will make cooking easier and more enjoyable…it’s all about having fun when your cooking.

The Goddess and Spicy Honey (aka The Latin Lover!—Can you tell he’s back from Miami?) are going to enjoy the holiday together and with family and friends.  Some of The Progeny will be floating in and out of the Season…you know, like the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.  We will connect with friends and family and count our blessings, of which there are many.

We would also like to remind you of those that don’t have and to please, please, please be as generous as you are able.  They too, deserve something to be thankful for.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful it was you?

Snow on the Dogwood TreeI should probably just stop right here; a heap can be said for brevity.  But that would be too easy, so you’ll have to bear with me and gird your loins, while I stroll along, “tripping and falling all the way” (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)! I think it’s safe to say we’re living in, what seems like, rather precarious times, with so much anger, violence and fear.  And with that in mind, I think it’s more important than ever to remember.  And more importantly…to remember to forget.  Remember the past, with all its wonders, its creative moments, its scars, its lessons, etc.  Remember the times when we have done something truly heroic and altruistic for others, perhaps for a perfect stranger.  Remember when we’ve given a hand-up, to friend and foe alike. Remember the random acts of kindness we performed or that came our way from an unknown source.  Do you remember all those times?  Then, you are blessed with a rich and textured past.

During that little trip down memory lane, we usually also remember some of the darker things that have befallen us; this is where life becomes a bit murky.  I have a favor to ask of you; it might be difficult.  It’s something many of us just can’t seem to do.  I’m asking you to choose one of those events, maybe the darkest one and decide to forget it.  Yup, just let go of it, kick your anger and hurt to the curb, clean off your “hate slate”, so to speak.  Because, when we can do that, then we are able to forgive.  And forgiveness is liberating.  I know forgiving isn’t always an easy road.  And because of that, so many times it is the road less taken or not taken at all.  But, it is absolutely, hands-down, the road we all want, and need, to travel.

Christmas seems like the perfect time to make the phone call, write the letter or email, knock on the door…whatever will get you there.  The place to start is pretty simple…”I’m sorry”.  Now come on, make it heart-felt, otherwise you’re just going through the motions and nothing will be accomplished.  Sometimes the door will be slammed in our face, but we won’t give up…No, we won’t.  I’ve found that when I feel there’s been a misdeed, and I really think about it, I understand better why it happened.  Then, and this is where it get a tad difficult for me, I usually realize that perhaps there’s just a little piece of the event that belongs to me; sometimes it’s an entire chunk!  I’ve found that when I own my part of it, I can forgive myself, because I think we need to be able to do that, too.  Then, I can step up to the plate and say “I’m so sorry.  Please, forgive me”.  Forgiveness frees us and the “forgive-ee” to move forward, come together, rekindle a friendship or at least, it’s a starting point to begin anew.  In this time of giving, isn’t forgiveness the perfect Christmas gift?  Let it be the gift that keeps on giving.

If you’re not quite ready, please, at least think about it.  Just consider it.  If you choose forgiveness, then you can move forward…forward is always the best direction to travel.

PoinsettasAnd on that note, have a wonderful holiday, filled with dancing sugarplums (you’ve been into the brandy again, haven’t you), warmth and happiness…Tonight the Christmas Moon “will shine on the breast of the new fallen snow, giving the lustre of midday to objects below”…so where the Hell is this new fallen snow?  Next, given the Miami-like weather here in New England, The Goddess will begin to hallucinate; she thinks it’s the those damn sugarplums…she thinks she may be seeing…”a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, with a little old driver, so lively and quick, she knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.”

Merry Christmas and to All A Good Night!