The first day of winter greeted Kansas with a high temperature of 9 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind chill of -15!! IT IS COLD! So I spent the day getting ahead on my holiday baking. I made some Angel Bites (the rest of the world knows them as Puppy Chow, but my mom was a member of the Angel Collectors Club and they renamed this tasty treat to suit their needs) - Holiday Biscotti (traditional almond biscotti with red and green candied cherries added for a festive look) - Snowflake Sugar Cookies (I wanted to try a new icing technique using color flow. Technique was ok - cookies are tasty) - Chocolate Covered Pretzels - and Bishop's Bread (looks like a fruitcake but ever so much better with chocolate chips - dates - candied cherries -and walnuts). Tomorrow I will bake M&M cookies (my personal favorite) and an Italian tradition, Strufoli (honey balls). It is beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!
I thought I would share my favorite Christmas devotional book in this Sunday Salon. I bought this book for myself about 7 or 8 years ago and have given countless copies as gifts over the years. I truly enjoy Thomas Kinkade's art, and have about 4 of his prints hanging in our living room. His artwork has a way of calming me down and helping me realize what is truly important in life. This little devotional does the same. For example, today's thought centers around candlelight:
Of all the colors of light, the warmest is the color of candlelight. When I paint light coming from the windows in my Christmas paintings, I try to capture the color of candlelight. Glowing amber. Warm. Welcoming. Nothing transforms the feeling in a room like candlelight. If Nanette did nothing else to prepare our house for Christmas, baking gingerbread and setting a room aglow with candles and greenery would be enough for me.
The day's meditation goes on to compare our lives to that of a candle wick. There are times when we set the room aglow and flicker and dance; and then there are times when we are like a dimly burning wick, depleted emotionally, spiritually and/or physically. But fortunately Christmas does not depend on us - but rather is "steadily illuminated by the Holy Spirit" and "just as the Christ child came to a waiting manger, God comes to a waiting heart."
I hope that through the hustle and bustle of this holiday season - that you too can take time out to refresh and renew in the eternal HOPE that is Jesus Christ, Our Lord.