Its only eight days into December. I feel like I’ve had my quota of Christmas emotions already. I’m not sure I can handle any more joy or tears or bittersweet moments.
This year trimming our tree had more meaning than normal. It’s because the five-year-old wanted to the know the history of every ornament. We showed her some from trips, some she’d made, some from our childhoods.
Saturday we had our practice for the annual preschool bell choir. After practice, I was a tad worried. We had several criers, a cacophony of dropped bells and whispers instead of voices during practice for reciting their Bible verses. We gave the kids entirely too much sugar and sent them home.
This is Alex. Alex has tried in years previous to participate and due to sensory overload and autism it hasn’t worked out. This year we were determined. We were also praying.
Sunday morning came and all the kids were amazing. They recited their verses. The bells actually sounded like the songs. And Alex….well….Alex was amazing. He sat quietly on his mom’s lap, he rang his bell at the right time, he smiled and he said his name. I cried my way through both performances. I think most people did. It was such a beautiful picture of patience and love and it was a Christmas miracle.
This is my grandmother. She has Alzheimer’s. My sister and my daughter and I visit her once a week. Some weeks she doesn’t open her eyes. Some weeks she talks to people who don’t exist. This week, she held our hands. She smiled at my daughter. We told her we loved her and she said she loved us as well. It was sweet and sad and beautiful. It was a Christmas miracle.
This is a pot of blackberry syrup. All summer long I spent time battling blackberries and effectively filled our entire freezer with them. My husband was gone for the evening so I dragged my daughter to Wal-Mart and Winco (and that’s a blog all in itself) and we came home to make blackberry syrup.
I was extremely worried that I was breaking my blender. It is actually my blender. I think I’d seen too many movies with people blending things so last Christmas I told the resident chef that I wanted a blender and he delivered. I hadn’t used it yet. He uses it all the time. I didn’t even know where it was stored. Luckily my daughter did. Anyway, I was very worried about the nine cups of frozen blackberries jamming up the motor and burning it up so I tried blending them one cup at a time. This was really a pain.
The next step in the recipe said to strain out the seeds. I couldn’t find a strainer. I called and texted and emailed my spouse. He didn’t respond. I point this out because I believe what happened next is really his fault. I decided to skip the straining step. Jam has seeds. Why can’t syrup?
My daughter and I successfully made our way through the rest of the steps and were about ready to can the syrup when the chef got home. He looked at it and said “That’s not sryup. It has seeds”. I won’t bore you with the next bit of conversation but I’ll let you know that I put the syrup down the garbage disposal and vowed never to touch the blackberries or the blender or the stove again.
The next day I got a text from the chef. He said “I bought you a present”. I figured this was a nice way of trying to apologize for insulting my cooking. I texted back ” What is it?” He replied “A strainer”. I was not amused.
So, on Tuesday night, I successfully made and canned seven jars of blackberry syrup. I am still best buddies with my spouse. It was fun and time-consuming and a pain and succesful. It was a Christmas miracle.
I’d like to know if you’ve had any miracles yet this season?