As 2019, all too quickly draws to a close, I stop and reflect on how well I treated the opportunities it presented.
A few years ago, all of our kids were home for Christmas over college break. For these occasions, like so many parents, I try to make as many of their favorite foods as I am able. And with the wee ones, it’s so fun to have them join the baking fun, too!
It’s with contentment I enjoy watching them enjoy the bounty with which we have been blessed.
Such it was this particular Christmas when my youngest daughter asked if I could cook less and visit more. This gave me pause. I hadn’t considered the time all of the baking took from just “being.” The time to sit, talk, and do nothing particular. Still, with ten people in the house for a week, it takes much to keep up with all of the requests.
During the ensuing months, I thought this over.
I remembered that my mom, in preparing for Christmas, started baking in October so that she was prepared with everything she wanted to have readied at Christmastime to make our tummies happy and our hearts joyous. When Christmastime came, her creations were appreciated and remembered, as well as the time she spent with us sitting and talking.
So during the following October, before we gathered once again for Christmas, I began baking and freezing a few things each week.
That year, my daughter said, while standing in the kitchen forking up pancakes and bacon,
“Mom, I’m so glad you spent less time baking so you could spend more time visiting.”
I smiled inside because the truth of it was I still had done just as much baking. Planning ahead, letting go of some traditions, and allowing for new ones had made the difference.
From my daughter’s request, I learned it’s important to sit with our guests and be truly present with them. Not just at the dinner table, but at other times, too. The memories of shared times eating, laughing, crying, and conversing are the baubles and trinkets we treasure most through life.
In all ways, let people know they matter.
It will not come this way again. Happy New Year!