Only 362 days until Christmas! Or is that
true for those of us who should be rejoicing in the birth of Christ EVERYDAY?
Well even on a smaller scale of expectations we do still have 10 more days of
Christmas 2014 to enjoy!
     After a very wet Christmas Eve with
torrential rains all day and night, most of the deep snow has been washed away
and the last couple of days have continued mild, though windy!  Snow lovers are lamenting but with 4 houses
to “mind” over the next couple of weeks I am only too thankful for each day
that does not involve hours of shovelling.
  
Planning for a very solitary Christmas Day, surprisingly 10 different
visitors made their way to the front door, each one a special blessing.
  
The first visit was from the Bradys, all five of them (including Tighe,
my youngest Godson) came for a morning visit.  We had coffee, eggnog or juice, with
gingerbread cookies, exchanged gifts and I admired the new toys and clothing
the children brought with them.
   
Soon after they left Sarah, Alexander and Natalie arrived.
    Six
years ago, my first solitary Christmas, Alexander, on his way home from a
nightshift, knocked at my door to bring me a special card and have a little
visit; he has continued that tradition each Christmas since, last year bringing
Sarah, to whom he is now engaged. This year his sister Natalie (she of the lace
edged bridal veil!) joined the party!
 
Lastly my long-time friends Barb and Ian came and serenaded me with a
fine rendition of “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”
  
And what is all of this doing at Lamb on Day Camps?
   Well
as this is the penultimate post of 2014 it is a good time to consider just how
amazingly this ministry weaves its way through every part of my life. If it
were not for Crosstalk Ministries it is unlikely I would know any of these
people, all of whom are so dear to me. What a privilege to be part of such a
special community!
  
These people who took the time on Christmas Day to come and share with
me are truly  “family”. A family which
stretches across continents and back over many years, bound together by our
common love for the Lord and a passion for “Helping People of All Ages
Become Strong Disciples of Jesus Christ”.
  
Eating dinner last evening, listening to the voices of Libera, by the glow of the Christ Candle, with two
furries in close attendance I gave thanks for this family who by God’s Grace
surround me daily and enrich my life.
 
Will I have the fortitude to live the deep joy of Christmas for the next
362 days? There is no way I can do it on my own, but maybe by His Grace, I will
be able to hold onto the message of “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men”, in
the days, weeks and months to come.
 
Today there has been time to get back to sewing and cooking but at a
less frenetic pace than that of the past few weeks!  Crafts were prepared for Children’s Ministry
on Sunday, yesterday’s roast chicken was dismantled and the carcass set aside
to make stock tomorrow.
  For
lunch I prepared a favourite Christmas Soup and thought it would make a
suitable recipe to share here: –

                                          
Christmas Soup

2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 tins whole tomatoes
4 1.2 cups chicken stock
2 cups roasted red peppers
1 tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsps. dried basil
Sour cream, for serving

Heat the olive oil in a stovetop casserole
over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5-10 minutes, until softened. Add the
tomatoes with their juices, peppers, stock, sugar and basil. Bring to the boil,
cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Transfer, in batches, to a food processor
and puree, being careful of the steam.
Serve in large mugs, topped with a blob of
sour cream. Makes approx. 8 servings. Freezes well.