Hello all. This is Marybeth's other half. While she's away on her trip (and I'm taking care of all the kids!), I thought I'd hijack her blog and share a few thoughts. The quality of the writing is definitely going to go down!
Christmas has been a big topic in the Whalen house lately. Because of all the time she's put into her Christmas book (see sidebar on right), we found ourselves talking about Christmas memories from our past and how special this time of year can be. God pierced through time and space to place himself in our midst, and the ripples of that phenomenal event are still felt in our hearts today. God gave his children a holy, undeserved gift, and the Christmas season becomes a time when we focus on sharing that love and compassion with others.
One of our family traditions is something Marybeth calls "making the Goodie Trays." A few weeks before Christmas, Marybeth goes out and spends a ton of cash on ingredients to make a bunch of different Christmas treats to take to friends.
A few years ago, right after buying all the ingredients, Marybeth came down with a severe case of strep throat. Maybe it was because I couldn't stand to see so much money wasted, but I decided to step in and make everything for her. I complained and grumbled at first, but something happened to me as I started to think about getting to deliver all the trays of snacks to our friends. I found myself getting excited and caught up in the spirit of what Christmas should be about.
The next day I loaded up all the kids in the car and we drove all over South Charlotte knocking on doors, shouting "merry Christmas!" to friends, and basking in the deep-in-your-soul joy that comes when you're able to surprise someone with a special gift.
I'll always remember it.
This is what Marybeth hopes will happen for you with her book "A Recipe For Christmas JOY." She hopes that some of the ideas she's put in this book will help your family create memories and traditions of your own.