Hello people of the Universe !
It is that time of the year again and it comes with its lights in the streets and its feelings of hope and joy, as usual. You gather with your friends around a cup of hot chocolate and a piece of cake in a warm cafe during hours. You go to the Christmas market and try every kind of waffles and crepes, drink mulled wine for two euros (or spiced tea, if you don’t drink alcohol like me) and you walk around the stands, looking at little boys and girls sit on Santa’s knees. You randomly pick a movie and watch it with your family, with blankets and pillows and pets around while it is cold outside. Well, at least this is how I picture December…. Usually.
Why usually? Maybe because with time, I feel more and more melancholic when Christmas is getting close. I enjoy Christmas time for its sweetness and its magic. I feel like everything is possible at Christmas, you can wish anything and obtain it and be happy. There is more compassion, more mutual aid, more kind words. It is the time of forgiveness and acceptance. You concentrate on what really matters. Instead of putting all your energy in what is going wrong, you transform it into positive thoughts and strength to offer the best of you to those you care about and need you. It is a meaningful period (that should be extented) to me.
But the coin has another side and it is not the most pleasant. When it is the time of romantic comedies around Christmas, winter songs and clothes, dark weather and slippery sidewalks, I brutally understand I am far from those I love. The amazingness of having friends all over the world becomes heavy and unbearable because I can’t spend a second with them. December, at least in my head and heart, is a lot about saying and proving your love to your loved ones, face-to-face, with no shame or fear, just because the year was long and lively and those people have been a part of it. It is symbolic, but what Christmas is about if it is not about symbolism, metaphors and magical events? Hugs, walks in frosted streets, stories tellings by the fire or in a warm and hidden place, expectations for the next year whispered while looking at the stars. This sounds dreamy to me. When I was little, my family gathered at home and it was impressive. Cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, grandparents. Everybody was there. The table was not long enough to welcome everybody and Christmas was like a banquet at my scale. Now, my parents are divorced and I live 3 hours away from them, my brother lives in Paris, my father’s mother died, event that has torn the family apart, and my mother does not get along very well with her side neither. Christmas is not as enchanting as it should be. My brother wants to gather everybody again but I think he received negative answers. It is a pity but it is still fine to spend time with two or three people. Like a very small family, but a family anyway.
But even with a little melancholic feeling in my heart, there are several things I love doing at Christmas time (apart walking outside in the cold, I think you understood). Above all, and even if I can’t practice as I don’t have a big kitchen (and as I am too afraid to go into big supermarkets to find all what I need, thanks phobia): I love cooking. I love the smell of hot chestnuts or red kuri squash soup. I love the idea of duck and potatoes, gingerbread and toasts. My mom bakes for people to make them happy, and it makes her happy. It is as simple as this. I am taught baking is giving and I love the concept. Well, I am French, we always find a way to gather around a meal to enjoy or celebrate, whatever you are a good or a bad cook. We do appreciate that. So some days ago, I found that ↓ on the amazing Internet and thought it must be delicious. It is very easy to realize, and it is fun if you do it with kids. It is a good idea if you want to occupy them or if they want to contribute to the meal. So you can try to make dreidel pops! A dreidel represents a four-sided spinning top in Hebrew and it is a must-have during Hanukkah (that ends on December, 14th). Jewish or not, dare to tell me it doesn’t look delicious.
The next recipe is very ingenious and I am sure you ever heard about it. You know, we are often more tired during winter and we just want to lay on bed and do nothing. We want every day to be Sunday. But we have to eat. Well, this is one of the simplest recipes I have ever seen and damn, it is yummy. And it feels like you can eat and watch Netflix forever. I tried with chocolate… *salivating* I think you can add pieces of apple, too. Or coconut. Or Nutella. Or cinnamon. Or all of that at the same time. But use a bowl then, not a cup.
So we have two deserts, now we need a beverage. This one tastes like Christmas (at least, if Christmas had a taste it would be this one) and I have nothing to add but oh, oh, yes.
There is something else I love doing during December: presents. I am not comfortable when people ask me what I want for Christmas because I appreciate being surprised (and I simply don’t know), but I love making gifts. I love seeing people’s face when they open it and I love knowing they are happy. I tend to spend my money very carefully, I barely buy things I don’t need and think twice before buying something expensive (I take after my father, haha). But at Christmas, I don’t want to count. I am just frustrated when it comes to buy something to my mom or my dad. I have taken the habit to offer books and it is not a surprise anymore… But the last time I did not offer books to my mom, she told me I should have to because she had nothing to read anymore. So every year I try to add something like cosmetics, chocolates, or tea. Yeah, so basic but so effective. If you are interested, here are the books I found for my dad:
❀ Cleopatra’s Comb by Maria Ernestam ❀ Don’t Cry by Lydie Salvayre (Prix Goncourt 2014) ❀ Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
For my part, I will be very spoiled. I ask for a new phone as mine is getting old (and we all know how expensive phones can be). I will also receive two lovely jewels you can find here and here, and… Mayim’s new sweater! Let me tell you more about it. By buying this sweater (or one of the two other tees, or even the three of them) a part of your money will go to Big Picture Learning, a non-profit organization that educates kids and installs a better equality between all of them. It wants to encourage every kid’s potential and develop new kind of teaching adjusted to them. Buying this sweater is also a way to be (even more) officially part of the Grok Nation community. And if you still hesitate, here is my last argument to convince you: you will receive an autograph of Mayim Bialik if you order it before December, 18th. You just have to click here to wear a cozy sweater for winter, donate to an organization to promote a better education, and have an autograph from an inspiring and passionate woman.
Don’t forget it is Christmas… you receive and you give. At least, that’s my Christmas spirit.
Enjoy December as much as you can. Keep in mind how magical this period is and think positive, you are more beautiful with sparkling eyes.
Love and glitter, Marion