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My favorite “gift”, over the recent holiday week between Christmas until just after New Year’s, was hearing from my family/friends that they appreciated the homemade treats I prepared for them and the home-cooked meals we shared together during that week. It’s nice to know that just the act of preparing a meal, sitting down together at home and appreciating the tastes  tailor-made for them was so welcome and worthwhile!   4a16ea037f3b62fc0dde89e57bdb6d5b


We set times for those meals and sat down at those times; then we prayed and took our leisure . . sans gizmos, outside influences and disruptions . .  to dine in peace, together. It was lovely! I think it helped to take the rush out of our days; and it gave us invaluable time being together eating and conversing! It really was a reminder of a different period of life, years ago, when our family and loved ones dining together throughout the day was a regular part of our lives. Now, we’re older, busier and strewn across the nation working on our careers; and some of our family and friends have passed on. It is not possible to share in those same precious moments of bonding and reunion each day. So it truly meant something to have the chance to recreate the experience during such a momentous and special time as Christmas with those who still could be together. We also did the same type of thing at Thanksgiving, but not to the same extent we did it at Christmas. With ten days off together between Christmas Eve and the weekend after New Year’s Day, we didn’t eat out once or skip one meal being together. We planned times and made that effort to share our meals, regardless the schedules we had to keep or the errands we had to run. 


Some people might balk at such an effort these days! After all, don’t we all enjoy time away from one another? And surely, when we have our divided, blended, absentee, broken and any other manner of family, it would seem corny or almost impossible to do such a thing as bring family together at meals! Well, with time’s passage, I care more about what matters to my family and loved ones. And we valued this time, these efforts to connect and be with one another; and we also know that nothing, including time, is promised or guaranteed for any of us in the years ahead! We wouldn’t have traded that time and the simplicity of meals at home for any other manner of sharing this recent special week together! I’m so thankful for one more year having had that opportunity with dears, cooking and taking care of them in ways they don’t get to appreciate often, if at all, during the rest of their year. It meant something, it invoked sweet memories of loved ones who’ve passed; and it will serve to connect us with new and treasured memories of this year’s holiday! Family and friends are truly the best part of the holidays; and “gifts” such as knowing their appreciation and gratitude for that time spent together is truly priceless!  Signature02