December 23, 2011

Surviving Advent

Surviving Advent

Mary in the Kitchen by Sarah Reinhard – CF126: John Besh and “My Family Table”

Ah, Advent.

Can I be honest here? I’m glad it’s almost over, though, truthfully, I’ve only just started liking it.

By the time you hear this (or read it, as the case may be), I’ll have survived two family Christmases.

I don’t even know why I say survive.

Other people host them. I just have to show up, sometimes bearing food and other times with only the gifts I bring.

What is it that makes me dread this time of year so much?

Well, I have thought about it long and hard and now, at the point when Advent is almost finished, I can tell you what I’ve concluded: that I need to choose–and change–my attitude.

Whatever else, I do love the Christmas season…the one that begins on December 25. This year, my mother-in-law is going to teach me how to make what she calls coffeecake and which is really some sort of homemade cinnamon bread. It’s delicious! This bread is a staple in our Christmas morning diet, and our New Year morning diet too. We try to wrangle it out of her at other times through the year, but I’ve decided it’s time to learn to make it myself.

This year, for the first time, we have fresh eggs in our refrigerator, so I think that at least some of our Christmas eating will include them. Maybe we’ll have them for breakfast, along with that coffeecake bread my mother-in-law will give us on Christmas Eve.

It’s hard to keep a chip on my shoulder when my children are so sincerely happy about the music and the decorations and everything else. I find I can still manage a bad attitude, though.

That’s why I’m turning to Mary in a special way. She knows my challenges. She sees how I let myself get overwhelmed by silly obligations and how I neglect to notice the blessings beneath my nose.

When I’m in my kitchen, grasping my rosary in the early morning quiet, I’m going to pray for the peace the birth of the Baby Jesus promises to each of us. I’m going to ask for the grace to accept it. And I wish that for each of you at this special time of year too!