It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

While Thanksgiving is still a couple of weeks away busy women around the country will tell you the season of holiday preparation is well underway. From making lists, planning menus, baking cookies and everything in between seasoned holiday veterans will tell you careful planning and time management are crucial elements to holiday enjoyment. And then there is the financial aspect of the holidays. Sadly the birth of Christ, Christmas as we know it, has become big business. And while we lament the commercial aspect of Christmas we have no one to thank but ourselves as we are the ones who bought what the retailers were selling.

I remember the old days when Christmas like the rest of life was much simpler and oh so much sweeter. They were special times that you looked forward to with great anticipation. Family traditions and gatherings were written in stone and memories made would last a lifetime. Children didn't get everything their hearts desired, we knew better than to ask for everything under the sun. Mom would tell us to make our lists and give Santa a few ideas and we girls would peruse the Sears Christmas catalog for hours coming up with those ideas.

And when exactly did it become shameful to give anything that wasn't purchased at a retail store? Who exactly came up with that brilliant thought? In my opinion some of the best gifts you can receive are those that someone makes with their own hands. I remember my grandma's sister-in-law used to make some of the best gifts that we all counted on and looked forward to each year. Aunt Maymie would give each family some of her homemade summer sausage, a couple of loves of banana and zucchini bread. And to top it off a hand made crocheted tea towel. Hey the way I see it, anyone can go to a retail store, wander around aimlessly looking to buy a gift they can't afford and more than likely for which the recipient has no need But a gift someone makes, now that is a treasure because it is a gift of time, love and self.

So I say all that because I believe it is high time that we return to the old fashioned holidays I knew as a child. With that said today I have posted two recipes in the Homemade Mixes section of the recipe page that will make excellent gifts to give. The first is a soup mix called, Love Soup Mix which is a dried soup which you assemble in a jar, attach a direction card and give as a gift. The receiver add only meat to the mix and viola' a meal or two in a jif. The second is a recipe for cutout ornaments which I love and is a wonderful way to get kids or grand kids involved in holiday prep. I have made these ornament many times and never tire of them. In an attempt to help you with ideas, I will post a couple of ideas/recipes each week for your consideration. I sincerely hope you will consider trying some of these ideas to give as gifts. Not only will the recipient love getting them it will leave you feeling a little warm and fuzzy inside knowing that the gift you gave was of yourself.

Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.