we were poor, but it didn't stop my mother from giving. she was in the kitchen making martha washington bon bons, because that's how you can give. and if she was anything like me this year, and some years past, it doesn't feel like christmas when it's hard. when life is fast and drags you along. it doesn't feel festive when it is difficult to scrounge up change for milk. when there is loss and grief. when the grief you thought was behind you surprises you in the worst way.
but you make the martha's.
these were skinny years for us. there were not many gifts under our tree, but there were always gift baskets for others full of toffee, brittle, martha's, and rum cakes sitting on the counter ready for delivery. perhaps they were a little kiss on the cheek from God, through the hands of a poor woman, to others who were also experiencing hardship.
of course God uses the rich to help others. but we forget he uses the poor too.
and so it is in that spirit that i continue through the difficult. i find great joy in the mixing and the dipping and the glazing and the pretty packaging. to some it looks like posed and styled photos, but for me it is the remembering where i have come from. i remember the goodness of being poor in spirit. the goodness of my father in the skinny times and the goodness of a recipe passed down from my mema to my mom and then to me from a worn out, chocolate splattered cookbook page.
this year has dragged me around. it has been too hard and too fast and too much. it has made me tired and grey-haired. and i want to be out of 2014 so bad. but it feels like christmas when penelope sits at the counter and watches me roll and dip and holler at pruett that i'm going to pick him up as soon as i wash the sticky dough and messy of this year off my hands.