Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Very Messy Christmas :)

Blessed it the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
Hamilton Wright Mabie

On Sunday it was my turn teach Sunday School and I don't know what I was thinking. Instead of just taking Christmas cookies for the snack, as the lesson plan suggested, I baked some sugar cookies cut in the shape of stars and Christmas trees and took along white icing for the children to spread on them, and sprinkles of green, red, and multicoloured sugar with which to decorate.

No sane person would have done this. Frances, who was my helper, said that she remembered cake decorations in England called Hundreds of Thousands; little silver balls that would be shaken over tea cakes or iced sponge sandwiches. Well I had no little silver balls but hundreds of thousands of tiny pieces of sugar bounced and rolled all over the floor.

The children seemed to take special delight in building their decorations upwards on their cookies and of course, the moment the cookie was moved, or worse, lifted, the sprinkles fell off. This was a good reason for the children to eat them. It was total chaos.

If I use that word a lot, it's because a lot of my life ends up that way, but it is not an unhappy chaos and I always have friends by my side that have been sucked into the vortex with me.

A.J. looked up at me from his richly decorated cookie, with sparkling dark brown eyes and said, "This is the best class ever. I've never done this before," and this is the kind of moment that encourages my madness.

Afterwards, Frances wrestled the church vacuum into submission, and as I mopped the tables with damp dishclothes, I said, "Well, everyone deserves a little 'Christmas.'"

She said, "You know, none of us do. None of us deserve Christmas. That's the beauty of it."

No, we don't and yes, that is the beauty...

As I left the class room, I passed another little boy, Alex, talking to his grandfather about his cookies. "No," I heard him say, "I'm NOT going to eat them. I'm going to hang them on the tree."

What could I do but fish in my bag for two more undecorated cookies for him to actually eat, while I smiled at the thought of a tree, bending under the weight of his heavily decorated and carefully guarded cookies--oh, and the sprinkles that would surround it.

John 13:34 (New International Version)
34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.


Anonymous said...

Belinda et al:

Thanks for letting me know, congratulations.

Blog on!


Dave Hingsburger said...

Belinda and blogging team ... hoorah and amen! Congratulations on your well deserved (and hard fought) award. This was no easy category this year ... lots of wonderful competition.

Joyful Fox said...

Oh Belinda,

Yesterday we rolled, cut and baked our annual gingerbread. First year for 5 of us and two three year olds. None of our angels, snowmen, stars, trees, or angels ever looked so unique. Chaos. I looked around the kitchen and wondered, "What was I thinking, embarking on this project with one of me and 5 of them?"

Then I said, "No our gingerbread are not 'beautiful' in the world's eye nor are they of a 'standard' to be commended. We did it with the efforts of young, unskilled hands and the experience was enjoyed by all 5."

Hannah was delighted and stuck with baking from beginning to end, she sang and joked and smiled. Josh was proud of his creations. We had finger holes in some unbaked shapes and the twins were learning self-control. The process of transferring gingerbread from saran to parchment for baking was not one to be achieved by young hands. It was tried and all learned that some tasks require skilled hands. Olivia helped by taking care of the twins after a time, and that was the greatest contribution of all. My sanity remained in tact.

I am thankful for these years and precious times when I go "yipes!" Soon there will be no toddlers or curiosity or times like these and my baking will be quick and sure and I'll miss their delight and wonderment.

I will however wait till Saturday, for two adults - Daddy'll be home - to have the 5 decorate! I think sprinkles, m&m's, rolling silver balls, and royal icing to be piped would not leave them with precious memories of a patient, cheerful Mommy!