Today I mixed up my yearly batch of Franee’s Famous Nut Bread. Franee is my beloved mother in law who went to heaven many years ago. I first had it in her kitchen at Christmas time a few months after meeting my husband.
The bread is rich with nuts, currants, and raisins, and after we married and moved away she gave me the recipe. Now I love making this bread at this time of year and thinking about her. Up to my elbows in whole wheat pastry flour, I was just filled with thankfulness.
I am deeply blessed to have known her and been part of her family for 16 years before she died. She was a woman who’d had a hard life yet was full of love and joy and a healthy bit of crazy. I knew her and loved her, and she knew me and loved me.
That is what it’s all about, my friends.
It is 2 days before Christmas while I am baking, and the whole laundry list of things that need to be done soon is marching through my brain, stress, and anxiety hovering around the edges.
But seeping into my soul as I cook is a simple gratefulness for this woman, for this recipe that I can prepare to bring her back to our minds and hearts, and for the wonderful bunch of people who will be here in a couple of days to eat this bread.
The threatening cloud cover of anxiety just floats away, because really none of it matters. The cure for our so called holiday stress is just to pay attention and be thankful for all the grace, all the blessing, all the good.
Have yourself a merry little thankful Christmas.