Today I broke through to Christmas! It's official. And I have the chocolate letters to prove it.
This past weekend I made up an Excel spreadsheet with a page each for the groups of people in the various different parts of my life for whom I buy the letters, and today on my lunch break, I went to Dutch Treats in Bradford, and armed with organization, quickly gathered 105 of them.
The owners of the store, Cor and Louise DenBleker, packed all the letters into two large cardboard boxes and then took my photo for their bulletin board. In Bradford, so far, I reign unchallenged as the Queen of Chocolate Letters.
Since I am half Dutch and half English, I celebrate both cultures to the max, every chance I get. Just when I thought things could not get much better, having all of those chocolate letters and all, Louise pointed out that they have branched out to also include English treats. There on the shelf, right next to the Wilhelmina Peppermints, Zoute Drop and Haagse Hopjes, sat Fry's Turkish Delight, Cadbury Flakes, and Walnut Whips. Oh, my cup runneth over! They even have cans of English Heinz Baked Beans, which taste totally different to North American baked beans. I left with "just" my letters though, and a mental note to return soon.
Back in the office my priority was the big Christmas party to be organized. From mid November on people have been asking, very politely, but with a gleam of desperation in their eyes, "Belinda, do we have a date for the Christmas party yet?" Well, it is now happening! I have connected with the caterer and booked a date and tomorrow just have to confirm that it works for the church where we usually have the party.
In spite of it always coming together at the very last minute, this is the absolute best party of the entire year and I always think that we should sell tickets to it, because nothing brings Christmas to my heart like this party for 100 or so people with disabilities and their support staff. To say it is organized is really to use the word loosely. It is chaotic joy!
So, my house is not decorated, although I do hope that comes about very soon, even if it is a modest attempt, but this Sunday is the start of Advent, Christmas has come to my heart and I am in celebration mode. What a difference a day can make.
1 John 4:9-10 (Amplified Bible)
9In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him.
10In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins