We are in the hustle and bustle season again. No snow here to slow traffic, but where do all these people come from around the holidays? The aisles are crammed and the checkouts are long. I guess if I am buying groceries they have need to stock up too. Then there are gifts to buy and wrap. Trees to decorate with ornaments and carols to sing and batches of cookies going in and out of the oven. Maybe family and friends will gather to eat, open gifts, eat, make snow angels followed by hot chocolate with marshmallows and gingerbread cookies followed by a nap, then repeat?
Your version may vary slightly. Mine exists mostly in my memory. I experience sadness around this time every year. I have family to spend time with and I love them dearly, but there is one Still missing and he is much loved and remembered. If you have been following this blog then you know that we talk about loss and all the many someones we love and miss terribly around the holidays.
But since this entry is about eating, we can all do that, right? And holidays are about stuffing our faces if I can make such a bold statement. We will share a meal and make memories before Christmas and then when our kids return from Christmas celebration elsewhere we will make more memories sharing more food and laughter.
I’d like to share a memory that takes me way back when our children were young, exploring rabble-rousers and we loved every minute of it. If not then, we sure do now. We were spending vacation in Yellowstone National Park and having a great time. Off the beaten path, we stopped to watch a chipmunk busily doing his business. Shhhh, kids. Don’t scare him or her away. (I think it must have been a lady and you will understand why soon enough.) Excited children aren’t naturally quiet, but Ms. Chipmunk was not to be chased away.
Then we got an idea. We had some crackers in the car. Let’s feed her! Certainly she’d like Wheat Thins as much as we did, so out came the crackers. We tossed one in her direction and waited. She darted here and there and then got a whiff . . . food! And without having to work for it. Nice! Then the fun began. Ms. Chipmunk found out that putting a square cracker in her round pouch was not as easy as it looked. With her tiny paws she worked it round and round, trying to find a way for it to go in. Finally, in it went and she scampered off with her treasure. She must have dumped her booty in a place nearby because we didn’t have to wait long and she was back for more. Again and again we tossed crackers to her and watched her maneuver it just right so she could haul it away in her “purse”.
What fun we had feeding and watching. What fun we have had over the years eating and watching and laughing and making memories. We’ll do it again this year in spite of pangs of pain down deep where most can’t see. Most don’t ask. Most seem to have no pangs of pain down deep of their own or maybe we all are wearing our holiday masks.
We (wish) call out, “Happy Holidays” to friends, family and strangers everywhere. There is much to be jolly about and much to be thankful for. Mostly, I am thankful for the Christ Child. It is he who blesses us daily, providing for our needs so it is his birth we celebrate again this Christmas.
He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts 14:17