Christmas Eve’s Eve…

We are officially down to the wire… the day before, the day before Christmas. The thing that’s special about this year is that Christmas is on a Tuesday. That means for the church-going crowd, yesterday was your last minute shopping day. My question is why can’t Christmas float like Easter or Thanksgiving? Example: Christmas Day is December 25 but is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of December. This will still allow people to plan not only their last minute shopping and parties but will also give us set schedule of days off each year.

This year we are having Christmas Dinner after Sunday service. This is going to interesting because none of my family goes to the same churches and the variation of service times is as vast as the heavens. One church service doesn’t even start until 1:30 but that kind of evens things out as another service starts at 10:00 but lasts for 3-4 hours. So, preparation is on full tilt, about now, because we lose hands-on prep time because of our church services.

I’m really excited about Christmas Dinner. To me, this is really what Christmas is all about and that is everyone coming together. I have no greater joy than breaking bread with my loved ones, especially on traditional holidays.

My mind takes me back to all of the years that my mom would start making dinner 2 days before the actual dinner. She had a statue of  ‘chef pig’ that held a chalkboard with the entire menu written on it. It was soo cool to line out each item as it was completed. The longest task was… cleaning the chit’lins and yes, for many, many years I ate them. She had a red, step stool / high chair that she’d setup next to the sink and she would be planted there for an eternity cleaning these pork intestines. Then she also made homemade yeast rolls. Thank God for the rolls!! Not only were the rolls the best ever but the smell of fresh bread was like potpourri. It overcame the smell of the chitterlings, Lol!!! There is nothing like the taste of rolls fresh from the oven, still hot, super soft and dipped in Parkay (not butter). OMG!!!! I’m starting to make my own self hungry!! And we can’t forget about the deserts… Fresh Apple Cake, Pineapple Upside Cup Cakes, Aunt Lovie’s Pound Cake and that 3-layer German Chocolate Cake!!!

Needless to say, the food was good. But, I watched my mom not only during the preparation of dinner but actually at dinner. I could see the joy that she had when we sat down and ate. I could see how proud she was of the meal that she soo lovingly and carefully put together for her loved ones. THAT feeling, right there, is what I treasure about family dinner. Pouring your heart into your craft and watching as others enjoy it. My mom was an artist and I miss her immensely…

I remember the first year that we couldn’t pray our ‘family’ gratitude prayer. That prayer was… “I thank God that our family circle hasn’t been broken…” It wasn’t the same not having my grandmother at the table and I felt my mom’s pain. Then after mommy passed, it just wasn’t the same… Now, I had to take the mantle, the next generation family chef. I try to bring everyone to the table at least 2-1000 times a year. Sometimes we cooperate and others times not so much… but, I love everyone nonetheless.

So. as we wind down the clock to Christmas Day, let’s not forget what is truly important. It’s not the gifts, all the money that was spent or even how beautiful the decorations are but it is about sharing this time with those you love.

I truly enjoy sharing with YOU. I pray that you have a Merry Christmas!!!

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,
Jackie

Also, check out my website… http://www.JackieSmithJr.com

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