Monday, November 22, 2010

Baking up Your Holidays

I remember Christmas as a child. It always involved decorating the tree with beautifully hand crafted ornaments that my mother had created for each of us. Each one unique, each one special. I don't remember when the tree stopped being decorated with the salt dough ornaments that had come to mean so much to my brother and I, but a few years ago, one Christmas day, my mother brought out a box full of ornaments wrapped up in old newspaper. As my brother and I unwrapped each one, the memories flooded back. Each ornament signified a specific time in our lives, something we cherished at that moment in time.

That was one of the most magical Christmas' to date. But it reminded me that Christmas is not about expensive christmas decorations, lots of tinsel and more lights than your neighbor. It's about family and memories, celebrating life and the ones who make life so special, remembering our savior and the love he wants us to share. Christmas is a way of strengthening our families and building up the kingdom of Heaven.

With that in mind, I have started a new tradition of my own with my children. It still involves cookie cutters and salt dough, but with a twist. New decorations every year. Stars painted in neon pinks and greens or princess crowns and guitars with lots of bling, whatever suits my family best that year. Then I carefully pack them away with newspaper in a box and stick them under the stairs for that Christmas, not too far away, when my children have grown up and have children of their own and have long since forgotten about the days spent sitting around the kitchen table, cookie cutters in hand, flour on faces and the sun shining in through the kitchen window. Then a new tradition will begin.

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