A Little Bit of Love and Joy

There’s merriment in the air.  Can you feel it?!

My friend, Christy (from Critty Joy) offered a fun challenge this week for her final Christmas Party Friday“Complete the sentences…”

Like decorations tucked here and there around the house, they prompt joy!

My favorite part of December is… going outside on the first cold, clear night (with a gazillion stars in the sky so close you can touch them) and breathing in “winter.”  The seasons don’t change as drastically here in Oklahoma, so I make it a point every year to stand under a starry, sparkling sky and inhale a breath of pure, brisk air.  Ahhhh…

The Christmas song I can listen to over and over is… “Stille, Stille Nacht.”  There are many, many songs to celebrate the season — cherished old hymns, delightful holiday tunes, songs about love and family — but Stille, Stille Nacht reminds me to be still.  (Something I need to be reminded of more often!)

My favorite Christmas gift when I was a child was… a Slinky.  That “sound” — soft, shimmery, metallic — was like holding starlight in my hands.

If traveling anywhere in the world were an option, I would spend Christmas… in Iceland.  (Via Minnesota and New Hampshire first — my family is used to my galavanting by now, but we still miss each other, especially during the holidays.)  Iceland is a land of contrasts — volcanoes and glaciers, geothermic-heated swimming pools and eiderdown quilts, cold seafood buffets (that make me drool just thinking about them) served by warm-hearted people — invigorating!

Christmas movies are… sappy, syrupy, predictable… and I watch every one of them.

My “must have” Christmas treats include… Egg nog.  And Penuche.

Decorating for the season looks like… a chore when I start and a joy when I’m done!

When it comes to Christmas gifts I prefer to… use more Scotch tape than necessary.  (The element of suspense adds so much to opening gifts, don’t you think?) 

The Christmas season makes me feel… nostolgic, thankful, and hopeful.  In my heart, I carry memories of Christmas past, gratitude for this season, and anticipaton of Christmases to come.  (Sort of a Dickens-style complex, but I can’t help it.)

To me, Christmas means… an opportunity to dispense JOY!!!  I love looking for ways to give it and invite you to share your own.  (Use the links above or leave a comment below.)  JOY is something the world needs more of and I’m eager to hear how you celebrate love, faith, and family this special time of year.

Sometimes it comes in small bites…

Penuche is a “once-a-year-candy” that I look forward to indulging in — immediately followed by a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of coffee.  (Contrast is my middle name.)  Also known as Brown Sugar Fudge, it’s nothing like it’s creamier, chocolate cousin — grainy, super sweet, like maple sugar candy (minus the maple.)

Grandma produced a plateful of it every Christmas and the holidays wouldn’t be the same without it.  Here’s her recipe:

This season — every day — I hope you’ll look for opportunities to share love and JOY!

Merry Christmas!

~ Kim

21 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Love and Joy

  1. Your penuche does bring back some Christmas memories. It has been some time since I had any, not sure why but I may have to change that situation. The sentence finishings were a good read. Enjoy the holidays!

  2. Kim, you have a talent of describing common everyday events in a manner that invites us to re-evaluate and appreciate the things around us. Thanks for your insight; it’s always a pleasure, delight and surprise.

  3. Mama! I love your blog, but why is Great Gramma Anna’s Penuche on the plate you always had on display? LOL ;) I saw that plate and immediately said to Jeff, “What?! I’ve never seen that plate used! It was always on a brass plate holder either on a shelf, on a baker’s rack, or in the glass fronted bookcase.” lol ;) I miss that plate. I’ve always remembered it. LOVE YOU!!! Merry Christmas from your darling daughter. – Pamela

    P.S. Feel free to send me some Penuche!!! :) <3

  4. Oh one more thing! I can’t wait to sit in the chair next to you on your deck, enjoying our morning coffee and tranquility. :) Man I could go for that right now. <3 u mama

    • Bebe Girl, next time you come see your Mama, I will serve you Penuche on “the plate!” (With coffee — on the deck!)

      What a memory you have… That plate was a gift from Mrs. Rogers (piano teacher) and I didn’t/don’t use it often because it’s so delicate — hand-painted Bavarian china. But I’ll make an exception for you. :) Merry Christmas, darling daughter! Love you, too!!!

  5. Oh my goodness the scotch tape answer made me laugh because tonight I drew number 1 in our staff party “dirty santa” game and I chose a gift that was taped so well it took me a few minutes to open.

    I adore your answers. And smelling the winter air…yes. Some nights during winter I bundle up and sit in the darkness and look at the stars and just breathe.

    Thank you so much for joining me this year for CPF dear Kimby. You bless my heart so with your friendship. <3

  6. Love your list! …and penuche! I haven’t had that in forever! Thanks for brining it back to my attention. I love the handwritten recipe card!

    • Ann, I was blessed to inherit my Grandma’s recipe box, along with some of her baking utensils (measuring cups, rolling pin, etc.) and it makes everything taste even more special. Thanks!

  7. Kim,

    Very thoughtful post. I really like your penuche! Cant wait to try it! You know in India we celebrate Diwali like you celebrate your Christmas. Its the time when families get together and exchange gifts. Its the biggest festival of the year like Christmas for you and they are so similar. What attracts me during Christmas is beautiful decorations all around the place!

    Kim could you also tell me how you get snowfall on your blog. I want to do it too. Its looking really nice and festive!

  8. Hi, Gursahiba! I can’t take any credit for the snow — that’s WordPress’s idea :) — just go to your dashboard (writing options) and look for the checkbox at the bottom of that section. (A nice seasonal touch — plus they’ve set it up to automatically stop snowing on January 4th!)

    I loved hearing about how you celebrate Diwali. Family get togethers, gifts, festivity — a wonderful tradition!

  9. Greetings from Spore, my dear! Travelling to Iceland if u’d a chance?? Well, my wish is to visit Lapland to see Santa. I was disappointed when I didn’t have time to go during my last trip to Finland :<

    I've learnt Penuche today. I'm always learning something new each time I drop by :) Oh, did u see my reply to your question to Promote Your Blog @ Shirley’s Luxury Haven! DIY This X’mas With 12 Lovely Recipes? There’s no deadline but the problem is whenever I said that, people tend to delay their cooking. Hahaha! I’m one culprit myself. Lol! Hope I get to see u trying out my recipe soon :)

  10. Speaking of predictable, corny Christmas movies, have you seen “While You Were Sleeping”? It’s one of my favorites–especially now that we’re living in Chicago and ride the El every day! (Sandra Bullock works at the El downtown Chicago)

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