Monday, December 9, 2013

Finding Advent in a Bowl of Chicken Soup (And Why There Won't Be Christmas Cookies in Our House)

Don't you hate how everyone is telling you how to be festive these days?
That you need to do XYZ so you're not (shudder...) THE GRINCH.  Or EBENEEZER SCROOGE without a changed life!!!

When did Christmas come to be about traditions?
And baked goods?

This year, I wanted a break.
I wanted simplicity.
This morning, I gave in and listened to you spoilsports the masses who lied to me and told me that my children couldn't be satisfied without Christmas cookies.

Normally, I do Christmas big.  Seven or eight kinds of festive, mirth-inducing, carbohydrates dipped in poisonous sugar.

But I girded up my loins and decided to make some gingerbread cookies from a new recipe.  One with plenty of butter and sugar.

You all...I bought white sugar and white flour just for this recipe.

Never do that.
Stick with your old tried and true recipe.

From the looks of this picture, you would never be able to tell that the cookies might need to be pried off the sheet with a crowbar.
I contemplated doing one of those "photographic life lies" and just posting the picture with the caption of "grateful for fun memories made."

But it wasn't fun.

You probably wouldn't be able to tell that the urchin below was hollering at me because his "communion wasn't working."  He had shredded his peanut butter sandwich and doused it with lukewarm water.

Yeah.  Love it when they spiritualize things and get crabby about it.

My heart wasn't in it.
And I certainly wasn't pontificating on the Baby Jesus' Advent any more than I had been this morning.

So I just needed some every day activity that I couldn't screw up.
Prepping my basic soup veggie mix that I freeze in advance seemed like a good option.

 Then we stopped for some homemade chicken noodle soup.
And there I had a profound Advent celebration.
Jesus in the mundane.
Just like it was 2000 some years ago.

The manger wasn't extraordinary.
His earthly human shell wasn't filled with candy cane syrup and holy-child-never-cries pixie dust.

As the light shone in through our screen door, I pondered the Light of the world.

And as I ate with the urchin who was satisfied with bread and soup instead of his play communion, I pondered the first communion.
The Bread of life, broken for me.  And not just bread.  The butter too.  (Because He gives abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.)

This Christmas, find Jesus in the simple.  The everyday.  The mundane.

Because a bowl of chicken noodle soup might be a more profound act of worship than any traditions that mean "Christmas."

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