It is with great love, happiness and friendship I write my Christmas letter to you, friends I never would have been blessed enough to meet without the creation of FoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe. It is early, and I am sitting in the recliner, with a cup of Mockiatto, all the lights out except the light in the manger and the Christmas tree lights. I love to reflect in the morning, alone, in the quiet and stillness, just "being" in the right now. I am sure this letter will be all over the place, as I have a hard time organizing my thought sometimes. I just like to put things down, and go with it. I am sure you all don't mind.
This year has been a crazy one. So many little, crazy, unimportant things going on. Of course they didn't seem like little things when they were going on. We welcomed our new daughter in law this year, we travelled to south Georgia to celebrate our children's wedding. That was the highlight of our year, what a beautiful time together we had. Luckily our son hasn't deployed again and we pray he won't for awhile, but if he does, we accept he is defending the country and people he loves, living his dream and for that we are touched, proud and grateful. How many of us can say we are living our dream? This little (OK now big) boy has been going to be a soldier since the moment he could talk. We love you Cody, Kayla and our granddaughter Madalynn. We miss you at the holidays and all year. We don't get to see you enough but you are never out of our thoughts, hearts or prayers. Aren't they precious?! (swoon)
I found this photo and I wish I had MY version of this photo. It has a little story. My dad has played Santa Claus for at least 45+ years. He is a jolly big guy and the part couldn't be more perfectly played. At our church in my hometown there is a children's mass before midnight mass. It usually has children dancing, live animals and Santa. One year, after communion, the entire congregation including those in chairs set up in the back and standing in the aisles, was quiet. reflecting, and praying. My dad, without a sound, walked into the church, walked down the center aisle, all decked out in his Santa suit, and beard that looks so real I have even seen adults tug it. He walked down to the alter, in front of the huge manger, and got down on one knee, removed his hat, and prayed. He later told me he prayed for the children and families who were sick, or broken, for peace and for all to know the love of their Savior. Without a sound, he got back up, and walked right back down the center aisle, and out the door. The looks on the children's faces were on shock, adults had tears running down their face. What is it about the meeting up of baby Jesus and Santa? Well, like I said I saw this photo and had to share that story with you. Somewhere floats the picture of my dad, the "real" Santa who has spent endless Christmas Eve's loading his big red bag full of gifts left in cars or garages and busted through many a front door to the "ohhhss" and "aahhhs" of children and adults alike. I have helped him deliver anything from a horse with beautiful tinsel braided into its mane and tail, to groceries to unsuspecting families going through hard times. He even got word early in his Santahood of a dying elderly woman, on Christmas eve, who only wanted a lollipop and visit from Santa before she died. Need I tell you, she got both? I could go on and on with these kinds of stories but my purpose besides sharing this photo with you, is to encourage you to never stop "doing unto others as you would want done unto you". You never know when a kind word, or gesture will be the last you give or receive, make every moment count for the good!
I realize we don't all share the same religion, in fact some of you don't have a religion, or believe in what I believe. That is OK!! Regardless, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, celebrating whatever you do believe the true meaning is. CHERISH special time with your friends, your family, anyone you love. Remember it is always better to give than to receive and that means ANYTIME of year. When you see someone in need, lend them a helping hand, no matter what it is, anytime you can. Let this holy day, be one of HOPE, and PROMISE as it should be! Eat LOTS of candy, cookies, desserts..........I mean we all know it is the only time of year where gaining weight is acceptable right?!?!
I started this blog for a very personal reason. Please know, your presence here, your friendship, laughing together, and going through personal life events you share with me is never taken for granted. You are all an important part of my life, and I think you for making each day full of laughter, and kindness for me and those who are also part of the Chefwannabe family. I pray you are all kept in good health, happiness and the greatest joy you have ever known in the new year.
Merry Christmas!! I leave you with my favorite (not religious) Christmas song......since this IS my Christmas card to you!