So the Christmas preparation continues.
More cleaning; today the kitchen – tomorrow the world! (Well, not actually the world, but it feels like it, so we’ll try to remember it’s really just the living room)
Having avoided the fridge for a few months and closed my eyes when getting anything out of it, I can now access the salad drawer without shuddering and am enjoying the look of an interior which doesn’t bear icy drops of water stuck ominously everywhere.
So I celebrated by baking lebkuchen – a long-time favourite of mine, which I only discovered a fantastic recipe for a couple of years ago. And I get to grind my own spice mix. Time consuming, yes, but rewarding and delicious-smelling. I made double (had an order from my Sister) and spent a blissful couple of hours in the kitchen stirring and waiting and switching out trays from the oven, then splashing around the gorgeous rum/sugar glaze while Husby followed on with the sprinkles.
We’re so blessed to be able to do that.
We’re also lucky to be embarking on a new Christmas Tradition this year – we will go to Sister’s house on Christmas Eve to visit with Niece and Neff, and will read the story of Rudolf (not the traditional version, as I recall; a funky version handed down from Dad, who had it read to him each Chrimbo), watch The Snowman and Father Christmas and share a simple lunch. The idea is that by the time Husby and I have children, we’ll have an established ritual for Christmas Eve, centred around family. We are the new generations and have enjoyed our parents’ traditions since forever (and will continue to enjoy them, I’m sure), but now it’s time to build some new ones, too.
So much goodness in our lives and it’s so easily overlooked.
It gets brought into stark focus sometimes though. We received a letter from Crisis recently, as we supported them last year in the amazing work they do over the Christmas period for the homeless of Britain. This year they wanted enough from us to cover 5 individuals. They clearly think that our funds have gone up over the year. Sadly not, but thankfully we’re not in the position to need their support.
Also borne in mind are the beautiful Violetta and Gretchen, who still need homes. Like, urgently. And I can do very little other than keep hoping and praying that someone will find them who lives in a country with legislation that would allow their adoption. I’d take them both in a second if only, if only…
She looks so sad in this photo – she needs looking after.
Violetta’s going to turn 4 soon – a terrifying prospect as she’ll then enter an institution where she may not be released, ever. Time’s running out for this little one – and who couldn’t love that smile?
I wonder what kind of Christmas they’ll have. And many other children will be having a tough time too, whether in the UK or elsewhere, without loving families around them. I read a really sensitive piece today about some of the young people involved in the London riots, who’d had terrible childhoods and all the badness in their lives served to re-confirm to them that a tough life was all they deserved, so why not act out. There’s also shown correlation between kids who have a really hard start in life and (amongst other things) homelessness.
In supporting organisations like Crisis and Reece’s Rainbows, it’s possible to ensure you’re actively fighting the Big Bad that’s out there ruining people. As the saying goes; “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”. The same chap – one Edmund Burke (though oft misquoted) – made another excellent observation: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
This latter quote ties in brilliantly with the Reece’s Rainbows ‘Starfish’ story, which they’ve borrowed to illustrate the need for people to do. This version is slightly different from theirs, but the essence is the same.
A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,“Well, I made a difference to that one!”The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
– adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley
One day I will make that difference. Somewhere out there are my children. I don’t know who they are yet – they may not be born yet – but they’re there, and I will bring them home when the day is right. Can’t wait.
In the meantime, always keen to read other people’s experiences of adoption – if you know any blogs covering this, please leave me a link.
Hope your Christmas prep is going smoothly.