Today's Friday Five invites us to take a little time to reflect on the holiday season that was before we try to move on to the things that are yet to come. The picture is our house the day after Christmas and the closest thing we have to a white Christmas is Alabama!
1. What food item was one of your favorites this year - a definite keeper? - I'm going to be a little self-centered here, but honestly my favorite thing from a holiday meal was my new recipe for dressing! No, I haven't shared this one yet, I think I'm going to hang on to it for a while. My favorite food from the time period in general not related to a specific gathering was the chicken and dumplings my step-mom's cousin made for us!
2. Was there a meal or party or gathering that stands out in your mind? - Well, no, not really. Nothing this year was like things have been in the past or like they will be ever again. It's not really a good or bad thing, it just sort of is. The one over-riding theme that I hope everyone takes away from this year and can remember in years to come is that there is a certain elegance to simplicity and that the holidays don't have to be synonymous with excess!
3. Were you involved in a jaw-dropper gift? Were you the giver, the recipient, or an on-looker? - I was a co-conspirator in my husband's "big" gift, which was his new helicopter and phone. In many ways I was in all three roles - I knew about and helped with getting the helicopter and the phones, I got a phone as part of it as well, but ultimately they were gifts from my family and I loved getting to see his face when he opened his present!
4. Was there at least one moment when you experienced true worship? I'm sad to say there really wasn't. I really REALLY missed having the opportunity to simply attend/participate in worship rather than planning and leading. The closest I got was the Christmas Carol service at the hospital, but at the last minute I got recruited to help lead so that killed a tiny bit of it for me.
5. What is at least one thing you want to make sure you do next year? Well, the first is that I want to make sure there is at least one worship service I am able to attend, observe, and participate in without having to have any sort of leadership or planning role in at all. (This one is on my list!) I am also going to make sure that we spend Christmas Eve at our house, preferably with nobody else there but us! In many ways this is directly tied to the first goal because I would love to be able to attend a Christmas Eve service close to home, then be able to make it home for pizza, the "Christmas Story" marathon on television, and to see Santa come through the neighborhood on the fire truck!
Bonus - What do you have to remember to do differently next year (or not at all?) - Honestly, I can't think of anything other than what I have already said. Keeping meals simple will be a change from the general past, but not from this year. Not trying to run all over creation and meet everyone else's needs is going to be a priority for us for the next year (not just around the holidays, but all year!) And taking time to be together and enjoy being together is what's driving it all!
In addition to my Friday Five, I have decided to take this opportunity to make myself a bit more accountable because I know more people will read on Friday than probably any other day. I mentioned last week that one of my hopes for the coming year was to be intentional about doing something for myself each week, so I am going to share what that thing has been this week!
Self Care for the week: Therapy on Monday. It wasn't nearly what I had hoped for, but that is entirely my fault because I was out of it. It was still what I needed.
You can expect to see therapy as a recurring theme for a little while, but I know that I will eventually not go every single week and even if that is the plan, life happens and often gets in the way of plans, so I want to begin being accountable now!