“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31)
Chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. This is all I have seen, smelled and dreamt about over the last two weeks. White chocolate, milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate in chips, melt and block form. So much so, I am truly sick of chocolate. Thankfully today, I have officially finished melting chocolate 🙂
You see, I’m not a big fan of store bought gifts at Christmas time. I’m big on finding local craftspeople to design and make stuff for me. My reasoning behind this is that society has forgotten what this Christmas season is about. It has become so commercialized that I try to avoid big box stores and primarily shop with locals. I really think that if I have to participate in the secular part of the holiday, I’m going to make sure each of my hard earned dollars go into the pockets of a real person, and not a corporation.
For example, each of the kids I babysit get a personalized Christmas ornament from me. I have given glass bulbs with their name etched in them and bottle cap snowmen. This year, the present was their names carved in wooden circles all made by stay at home moms who try to earn some extra cash for their families during this busy season. It’s not a big gift but the good news is that they can keep them forever.
For family and a few friends, I bake. It’s my big talent 🙂 Every year, I go through copious amounts of butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and peanut butter. This year, however, I have broken a record in chocolate. Over 300 peanut butter balls, 100 white chocolate peanut butter crunches, candy cane bark, nut clusters, almond bark, white chocolate gingerbread cheesecake bites, and Laura Secord balls — all dipped or made from chocolate. Me? I’m not a huge fan of chocolate but when mixed with two kinds of shortbread, gingerbread men and sugar cookies, the lucky people who get a tin (or random drop offs) of treats are always happy.
Even so, it took me a very long time to realize that homemade gifts from the heart are the most appreciated, the most enjoyed and by far, more work than a trip to the store would ever provide. Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I might complain that I’m sick of baking (I sure was 5 days ago when I thought I was done…..but then again I’m still baking today) but the reality is that I love it. I’m grateful that I was blessed with the ability to bake. In today’s world of busy-ness, lots of people have no idea how to start the oven — never mind use it.
More importantly, at the end of this day, I have filled over 20 tins of treats and given them all away. My hope is that each bite will be enjoyed and that every last crumb is scooped up … and that each recipient knows deep down in their hearts that they are loved. In the same way that Jesus fills our hearts with His love and hope and joy. Have a very Merry Christmas.