Once you choose hope, anything's possible. ~Christopher Reeve
So the Christmas season seems to just be whizzing by... Christmas is less than 2 weeks away. I woke up Friday morning so excited - my weekend plans were chock full of holiday festivities. Kicking it off was my annual Christmas cocktails Friday evening with a dear friend - we've been Christmas cocktail-ing every year for about 5 or 6 years now I think. And I look forward to it every season because it's always so much fun. (The only difference between Christmas cocktails & regular "let's meet for a bite to eat & a cocktail" is that it takes place in December & we get to be all festive & cheery. Which somehow makes it seem even more special.")
Saturday morning I woke up early - still full of Christmas cheer - I was meeting another good friend for breakfast before our Gingerbread House class at the Culinary Institute. So much fun! Very festive & holiday-ish. She even brought Mrs. Claus aprons for us to wear. (We didn't want to get them dirty so we just put them on before class for a photo opp & then after our houses were finished for another photo opp - we wore the standard issue culinary school aprons to do the dirty work with the icing.) Our houses turned out so cute & we learned some really great tips for baking! But then right as mine was finished, half of the roof started sliding off... We fixed it in class & they wrapped the houses in cellophane for easier transport... But as we got to the car, the roof started sliding off again (I guess I know I don't have a career in the field of construction, huh?) Since my friend lives closer to the school than I do, I went to her house to do another round of repairs. Oh but my poor little holiday house... I think the Big Bad Wolf was hanging out in the car because when we go to her house the whole roof had fallen & one of the side walls caved in. Needless to say I was quite disappointed - I was planning to give the house to my 2 year old nephew to enjoy (and of course eat if his parents would let him). So we went into major repair mode... this time with different icing. After about 20 minutes of visiting & chatting with her family, I went to check the status of our work & one side of the roof was sliding yet again... I will admit that I actually did stomp my feet in frustration. So one last effort to repair it was all I was giving it. (Honestly I wanted to give it to her kids right then & let them go to town eating it but I was convinced to try once more.) I left it at her house to dry thoroughly. I'm not quite sure what state of repair - or disrepair - it is in right now.
I was so very disappointed & I realized that all of my Christmas spirit had been zapped.... I put on Christmas music as I was driving home but that didn't seem to help. And yes, tears even started to form... I mean really, how do you get your spirit back when the flippin' roof on your gingerbread house caves in so very many times??? (now - side note: I'm not nuts - everyone does have some degree of holiday stress & mine rose to the surface yesterday not because of the gingerbread house but because of everything I need to have accomplished before my company arrives Friday. I felt overwhelmed by all that needs to be done & felt bad that when asked, I wasn't able to help my friends finish their Christmas decorating.)
Losing your Christmas spirit when you were overflowing with it just hours before is an odd feeling... it's like all your hope is just zapped... So truly - how do you get it back? Well, for me I chatted with a friend on the phone who listened to my little pity party with understanding & compassion, then I went home, put on my favorite Christmas CDs & started baking... I baked & baked. Then this morning I went to my annual Christmas brunch with another sweet friend & realized that Christmas in South Florida really does have lots of advantages - sure we'll never have a white Christmas; I don't have a fireplace by which to hang my stocking with care; hot cocoa isn't really a necessity - but who else can sit outdoors in an oceanside, lush tropical garden in the middle of December for brunch?
My hope... my Christmas spirit was coming back... the festivities were in full swing. So this afternoon, I put on more Christmas music & I baked some more... my baking is now complete & my Christmas spirit (aka Hope) is fully restored.
My wish is that everyone has amazing friends like I do. That way, when your hope is gone & all you can do is cry because you don't know how you'll get it back - you can call a friend who will remind you that all hope is never truly lost. They'll help you find your way back to it.
I am very blessed indeed.