Christmas is a joyous time for reflecting on the birth and life of Jesus, and how we are impacted by the ultimate gift He gave us. One of my favorite family traditions is that of pulling out a collection of Christmas books, mostly children’s books. I remember growing up in Cleburne, TX, sitting on my daddy’s lap as a child, listening as he read story books to my family.
My family has kept up that tradition. When our kids were young, we would read a different Christmas book every day during the month of December, leading up to Christmas Day. On Christmas morning, we would read Luke, Chapter 2 from the Bible.
Times have changed. Our children are all grown and gone – and some have children of their own, now. However, I still pull out the Christmas books and I even read one to a group of adults at a Christmas party we hosted in our home. I wanted to share a list of some of my favorite Christmas Books with you:
- The Candy Makers’ Gift, by David Heidle
- The Crippled Lamb, by Max Lucado
- The Legend of the Candy Cane, by Lori Walburg
- Itsy Bitsy Christmas, by Max Lucado
- Too Many Tamales, by Gary Soto
- A Precious Moments Christmas, by Thomas Nelson
And of course, The Night Before Christmas is a classic! We have the book and a puzzle (after many years, a few pieces are missing.) When our kids and their families are all home for Christmas this year, we’ll pull out a book or two and read it as a family.
Another family tradition that my grandmother started, was baking goodies and delivering them to neighbors and friends. I remember helping my mom and grandmother in the kitchen, measuring, mixing, pouring, baking, cooling, and wrapping the goodies for delivery. When my husband and I started our family, we continued this with our kids for a while. We wanted to teach them that giving is a blessing!
For those who struggle during the Christmas holidays due to death of a family member, or being away from family, or perhaps not having the means to provide for your family in a way you would desire, focus on the blessings, the quiet reflections of your heart, and perhaps even reach out to others who are in the same situation. A new year is just around the corner, which means new opportunities for a fresh start, renewed spirit, and healthy living. From our Extension staff and my family to you, Merry Christmas!
With 2019 quickly approaching, I want to announce some upcoming opportunities.
- Tuesday, January 22: Training for new Master Wellness Volunteers, Extension Office, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Get more information and register on-line at: http://agrilife.org/mwv
- Saturday, January 26: 4-H Sewing Fun Day, Extension Office, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – call the Extension Office for more details.
- Saturday, February 9: Twogether in Texas Marriage Education workshop, Extension Office, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – engaged couples will receive a certificate to save $60 upon applying for a marriage license. No charge for the workshop, but we do request that interested couples call to reserve seats so adequate meal preparations can be made.
- February 21-23: Junior Market Show, Civic Center
Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind – Mary Ellen Chase
Recipe of the Week
This recipe comes from “The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas.” It makes 9 Latkes (small pancake-type dish). Enjoy!
- 2 cups peeled, coarsely grated potatoes
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
- Olive or peanut oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup applesauce
- Squeeze as much water as possible out of the potatoes.
- In a bowl, mix with the remaining ingredients.
- Place a bit of the mixture spread out to 3 inches in a skillet containing a little olive or peanut oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Continue with remaining mixture.
- Serve the pancakes with sour cream and applesauce.