My Mama has been gone now for over 16 years. It doesn't seem possible that so much time has passed. Yet, when I think of the Christmas season Mama is the first person I think of. Often before Thanksgiving she would begin her holiday baking. She would fill containers and freeze items so when the week of Christmas came or there was a holiday get-together she would pull out boxes and boxes of goodies and put them together to make a beautiful assortment of Christmas treats on a plate or platter.
Mama would begin by sending a list to town with Daddy for all the special ingredients she would need. Lots of flour and sugar were needed to start and then all the ingredients that would make her baking and cooking extra wonderful looking and tasting. She would stockpile nuts, red and green maraschino cherries, molasses, raisins and dates and assorted red and green sugars or sprinkles. Plus chocolate chips and plenty of white bark candy that she would melt and pour over almost anything you could eat.
She would spend hours in the kitchen mixing, baking and cooking, spreading the tasks out when she began to get tired or moving to her kitchen stool where she could sit and decorate or plan the next day's cooking attack. She was so generous with her goodies. Often the pastor and shut-ins from church or family would be the first on the list to receive an assorted cookie and candy plate. Sometimes there were special neighbors on the list, or associates of Daddy's that would receive the special sweets blessing. Somehow there were always plenty of goodies left to be pulled out for family gatherings or special visits from the grandkids.
This year I wasn't really planning to make a lot of goodies since John and I are watching what we eat. I did get a special invitation to share making some of my favorite recipes with my pastor's family this year so that will be fun-without the temptations following me home. But then I remembered that the boys usually expect at least their favorites, so I may reconsider as the day draws closer.
"Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:17-19 NIV).