Fall has come and my most favorite time of the year is starting. I love when you get that first cold front, the fire pit lights up, and out come the smores. Pumpkin spice and everything nice, is my motto. Family time is a must and the boots are coming out! I am not one to be swayed so easily but in this season I volunteer to be swayed by all this coziness as December approaches.
I usually start to plan my Thanksgiving menu via Pinterest because I try to lean-up my feast to lessen the guilt. It’s just what I do. My favorite dessert that I make is a guiltless and crustless pumpkin pie. Essentially, it is pumpkin custard with a sugar free sweetener, but I really enjoy it. I serve a big slice with whipped cream of choice (usually sugar free) with a cup of coffee alongside. I am not an advocate for sugar free sweeteners because they are not that healthy for you and your gut but it’s a choice on my weightless journey. To make the crustless pumpkin pie, you need four large eggs, one 15 oz. can of pumpkin, 1/4 cup of Swerve sweetener, two teaspoons of vanilla, 1/2 cup of almond milk, two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, and ½ teaspoons of salt. Mix it all together, and then pour it into a lightly greased (Pam or alternative) 8 x 8 glass Pyrex pie plate or other deep pie plate, and then bake it for 1 hour at 350oF. It’s done when the pie doesn’t jiggle too much in the middle. Allow time for it to cool before serving so that it sets up nicely, and then serve it with your favorite whipped topping. This dessert has all the indulgence but a limited impact on the figure.
Family time is one of the most important parts of the holiday season. I find that holiday planning and meals are great but quality time with our parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews is priceless. We spend all year being so busy that I just treasure this time. It’s amazing how much our families lives can change in a year and how mature the kids become so fast. When Christmas approaches, I love shopping for my loved ones. We’ve had years where the number of presents were so numerous due to the growing families that your gift was just one of many. I struggled with this because I always tried to make gifts very personalized to the person and place a lot of thought into what I make or purchase for them. I think that in different years we had more money than others but the thought was always a personal one. I’ve made changes to how I’ve given gifts to all the kids over the past few years. I’ve now started a tradition where I give the gifts privately, and most of the time not on Christmas day. It suits my desire of giving to the family and it spreads out the receipt of presents for them throughout the season. I want to see their faces as they open the gifts and be able to give them a hug with love in the moment. Maybe it’s me just not wanting to give stuff but to give love.
I said that family time is the most important thing for me and it is true. What can I say, my kids are my greatest gifts and if I just had them and their giggles I would have it all. Being a parent is not easy; it is selfless and it is hard work. I have two very smart and beautiful young children who fight like siblings should and they do it well. They are getting to an age where they have their own opinions and they test boundaries. Thank the Lord that I can see beyond the moment, forgive easily, and know that putting in the hard work now will pay off in the future. They are our first ministry in life and our biggest investment. They can be exhausting but also they can melt my heart faster than you can blink an eye. Motherhood has been the most wonderful thing and has filled my life more than I expected. God is so good.
I look forward to giving my kids memories and having family traditions for them to remember and pass on to their kids. I look forward to making them smile and teaching them to be grateful for the blessings they have. Christmas time for a Christian is an especially important time. It is a time of teaching them a balance of the joy of the season and also making sure they know the true meaning of Christmas. We strive to show them that the reason for the season is Jesus Christ our Savior! I know that with human history and pagan influences Christmas seems to have become more about Santa Clause, consumerism, retail sales, and a greedy spirit. But, I want my kids to know that we set this time aside to share the biggest gift of all – the celebration of a miracle – a baby named Jesus, who is the Son of God, born in a manger, the Savior of the world. God sent an angel to tell a young girl she was going to have a baby that would carry a mission to die on a cross to rid us of sin so we could live and not die. The truth is none of us are worthy of eternity in heaven but through the acceptance of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made, we carry His status of a child of God. We gather this season to remember this truth and let faith in this be our reason for everything.
If I could give you, the reader, a Christmas gift it would be a prayer that you would come to know the story of Jesus and let it become real in your life. There are some that can’t look beyond the physical and can’t fathom a miracle like this. But, existence is a miracle! Life is not logical. Science does its best but you must even believe in something beyond yourself to even believe in science. My recommendation is that it is better to believe in something that gives you hope than something that ends in nothing. I pray that you and your families have reconciliation where there needs to be and that your holiday season is filled with wonderful memories and love. I pray that you are blessed today and in the days to come. I pray that you find what you are looking for in life and you live life well. Enjoy this time, even through the circumstances that we are living through in 2020. Stop and remember to be grateful for God’s goodness. He is always good!
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!