Wednesday, December 19, 2007

big dinners are overrated

I have come to one conclusion: big dinners are overrated. Anything that takes more than an hour to make is rapidly making its way off my favorites list. We had turkey, potatoes and gravy, and stuffing last Sunday, and the food took four hours on and off in the kitchen. And I didn't even make most of it. But I got to help, so it kind of took over the second half of the day.

I can think of at least forty things I would rather have done than COOK. Or even be a cook's helper. I'd be just fine eating soup and sandwiches. Not that I don't appreciate a lovely meal when someone else cooks it...I'm just tired of cooking! And I don't want to feel guilty when someone else spends four hours in the kitchen cooking. By that time, I've probably given up and had a bowl of cereal or something instead. Double guilt.

There is something to be said for simple cooking, don't you think? This being said, we're getting ready for our annual Christmas Eve dinner with as many of the family as can come. That is a major production, on the scale of Thanksgiving dinner. I vote for a simpler dinner and more time enjoying family, but I just might get outvoted.

The tradition of making a big family meal brings back the feelings of connectedness that we experienced during the holidays when we were younger. The whole process might be very symbolic for some people. So I have to ask, has the tradition has taken over the meaning, or is the meaning behind the tradition still the reason for keeping it?

It's kind of like Christmas itself. We rush around from store to store, buying gifts for people, and we forget why! The memory of the birth of Jesus is lost in the mad shopping rush. It becomes a holiday centered around gifts, a tradition divested of its intrinsic value by the frantic pursuit of the "perfect" gift.

Dearest God, help me to just slooooow down. Remind me to save time and space in my days to reflect on Your love and Your Son. I want to remember that He came here to share His heart with me, and to give up everything He had, including His life, for me. And as far as that dinner, Lord, please help me get through it with my patience intact!

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