The season of lists is upon us! At least, that’s the way I cope with the many events, worship services, visits and potlucks that squeeze in during this holiday season. So let’s talk about how you cope (or don’t) with celebrating minus the stress.
1. Keeping your ducks in a row: Tell us how you manage the craziness. Lists? That faithful old-fashioned pocket calendar? Smart phone reminders? Wall calendar?
Lists!! Always lists... card lists; present lists; food lists; diary lists; church lists... lists and more lists. My card list is the only one that is typed – it has been updated year on year for I don’t know how many years. Names added and removed; addresses changed; names of partners added or removed; children added in... and sometimes given their own entry when they set up home...
For the rest, I toyed with going electronic – but for me, the old faithful pad and pen is just more reliable.
2. Must-Do Events: What is one event on your list that you look forward to every year and NEVER miss? Not church services — something else that makes the season bright. Bonus points for a picture from a previous year’s event.
In the past three years a new annual tradition has developed... the Edinburgh Christmas Market with #3 son and his beloved. Walking through the lights, watching the skaters, sipping mulled wine, eating hot potatoes.... bliss! NB: this is never about the shopping, it’s about the joy!
3. Kitchen disasters of the funny kind: Lighten the mood with one of your best kitchen disasters. What ingredient did you forget to add, or what dish was left to turn to charcoal in the oven? It may not have been funny at the time, but now it always makes you chuckle!
Cooking is my therapy; I follow a plan; a tried and tested plan... though most years now someone will cry out – “Mum did you make the sauce?” after I made cranberry and orange sauce from scratch and did not remember until the 27th!
4. “Honey, I can’t find the __________!” Every year we turn the kitchen upside down looking for the turkey baster and the cotton twine for roasting the bird. Do you have a similar kitchen gadget or decorating frustration? Or have you solved a perennial problem and can give us a tried-and-true tip?
BIG turkey plate... which cupboard did you go in? Box of candles – where are you? Can anyone remember how to put the cake stand together?!
5. “I’ll never forget…” Tell us about a sweet holiday memory that you want to always, ALWAYS remember!
I just love Christmas... the things I remember most are the tears of laughter; the raucous joy of everyone gathered and gathering over a number of days; having a divided family means we have different days for different people, so it can never be just one, but all of it together, celebrating the joy of love and family.
BONUS: For those of us leading Christmas Eve services, what is on your “MUST HAVE” list for the evening?
Oh gosh! Where I am now, in this lovely village community, it’s the early family gathering; we put on a Christmas Play – not kids but grow-ups telling the story for families. Each year is a slightly different take on the Christmas Story- and year on year more and more folk come along – it’s magical!