Pastoral Ponderings—Tasty Blessings
I grew up in a family that always made Christmas cookies, and Karol and I have continued the tradition for as long as we’ve been together (though I’ll confess that not all the “red hots” candies made it onto the cookies!), but our cookies have never looked anything at all like the “homemade” cookies on the Christmas movies! Inspired by those movies, I even made an extra effort on my gingerbread people and trees last year, but alas, my (not so) artsy tradition continues. It looks like this Saturday we’re having our son and his girlfriend over to bake this year’s round of cookies, and even after years of practice, I still doubt they’ll look like anything other than cookie images of the Island of the Misfit Toys, and our gingerbread houses will never earn a single column inch in “Better Cookies and Gardens!”
I LOVE the idea of making Christmas cookies to take to our shut-ins! But remember neither are we Hallmark Christmas movie bakers, nor are our recipients looking for perfect cookies! In fact, when I see perfect cookies, I automatically think “store-bought”(even if someone I know really IS that talented)–which is nice I suppose, but not seasoned with love in the same way as REAL homemade cookies, with frosting falling off, cross-eyed gingerbread people, Christmas stars that only shine on the taste buds, or cookies that someone might be able to convince you is a Christmas tree if look at it just right.
We’ve always made more than enough, so have always shared cookies with our neighbors. This year we have new neighbors on each end of the block, so what better way to start a sweet relationship with them? Whether you’re a baker (or a baker wanna-be as we are!), one who sews, or are gifted with crafting or singing, maybe there’s a way you can use your God-given talents and interests to share a little Christmas cheer with your neighbors. Some of them probably need that cheer a whole lot more this year than usual, and I bet you’ll find that even if YOU are one needing some extra Christmas cheer, you’ll probably find it while trying to share it with others.
On this thought of sharing Christmas cheer, let me ask for your thoughts—how might our little church spread the cheer with some kind of virtual “ugly sweater” party or contest—especially if we can use it to help share the REAL meaning of Christmas? I’m wearing one of mine for the first time this year, and it’s already lifted my spirits! Please share your thoughts so we can have a little ugly sweater fun!
So whether the blessing tastes great like cookies, or is in great taste like our not-so-ugly sweaters—how might you and your crew share Christmas blessings this year? Keep being a blessing!