RevGals Kathryn invites us to reflect on the season just concluded and take note of the good and otherwise. My husband, ever the military man, refers to this as an after-action report.
1) What food item was one of your favorites this year - a definite keeper?This was an unusual holiday for us in that we didn't share it or celebrate it with anyone--no family or friends, just us. Low-key would be a bit of an overstatement! That said, I can't get through December without doing some baking, and I tried some different recipes this year. One is definitely worth keeping: turtle graham bars. It's sort of an update on a classic my grandmother made, and borrows a bit from a toffee recipe my Mom always made during the holidays, so this one has a special place in my heart.
2) Was there a meal or party or a a gathering that stands out in your mind from this most recent holiday season?
See number 1.
3) Were you involved in a jaw-dropper gift? Were you the giver or recipient or an on-looker?
No jaw-dropper, but this was the year of the Nana gift: Tervis tumbler, picture frame, plaque, bracelet charm and necklace. I was the recipient.
4) Was there at least one moment where you experienced true worship?
Our late Christmas Eve service was wonderful. One of our families got the idea to line the driveway into the church with luminaries. Cool! It started to snow just as the service began. More people came than we expected, so the church felt full (we're a small church), and the candlelight portion during Silent Night was magical. By the time the service concluded and we were all heading home the ground was covered in white, still snowing. It's rare to have a white Christmas in middle Tennessee, so that was just icing on the worship cake. It was a holy night.
5) What is at least one thing you want to make sure you do next year?
Two additions: After worship on the fourth Sunday of Advent my husband changed the bows on the wreaths at the church from purple to red. What fun it would be to involve the entire congregation in greening the church (though there's not a lot of decorating), with some cookies and hot chocolate to sweeten the work. I know that greening the church is not a new concept at all, but it's not something that's traditionally Episcopalian. At least not in my experience. The other is to do a blowout Epiphany service. It's our feast day, and until this year we haven't had enough kids to do a pageant. We do now, but our Christian Formation committee is still finding its legs and, well, to do it well it needs to be done well! So next year: Epiphany pageant with a feast to follow, along with the burning of the greens. And a king cake.
BONUS: What is something you absolutetly must remember to do differently... or not at all!
The first Sunday of Advent we often have a family activity making advent wreaths. This year was a disaster. The person who offered to put it together bought birthday cake candles. I won't detail all the things that make this problematic, but I will say that things will be different next year! On the plus side, the picture above was taken that morning.