The Beauty in the Day After Christmas

Yesterday was fairly quiet, which suited me just fine this year.

There is BEAUTY in quietness.

At the last minute before leaving my home, I put together a quick smoked salmon spread with cream cheese, smoked salmon, cayenne pepper, and a bit of the brine from a jar of capers. Having the ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn bread, green bean casserole, and salads already prepared or cooked in advance, all that my daughter and I had to do was reheat, assemble, or serve. We allowed Pictsweet to supply the corn and peas, and Costco made the pumpkin pie.

There is BEAUTY in ease.

My grandson (age 13) wanted “fancy,” so I was going to bring all the little glass serving dishes for the pickled vegetables and olives, as well as the smoked salmon spread. I forgot to pack all the dishes, so we opened the jars of pickled asparagus, olives, and other assorted pickled veggies and arranged them on a serving platter. The salmon spread went into a bowl in the center of a plate and we arranged the melba toasts around the plate. My daughter and I laughed together as we set out to “fancy up” the table with a theme of Christmas, using what was available to us.

There is BEAUTY in connecting the knowledge of a pretentious past with the freedom of a modest today.

We did have to work together in the kitchen a bit as we made the hot, spiced cider. My daughter had a small muslin bag, which we half-filled with some cloves, cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. I sliced thinly, half each a navel orange and Fuji apple. As she tied up the bag, I poured the gallon of apple cider over the fruit in a pot, added the spice bag, brought to a low boil and then turned down to simmer as it mulled.

There is BEAUTY in passing along recipes simply by doing.

We also had what some might call a “disaster.” Using a ring mold, my daughter made a gelled dessert. Attempting to remove it from the mold, it fell apart onto the plate. It was not the beautiful green, white, and red gelatin “wreath” we envisioned. In our normal family banter, she accused me of the ruination, as I was the one who removed it. I reciprocated, in kind, about her kitchen skills. Together we laughed, as we artistically (strategically?) arranged the dried cherries on the gloppy mess. Since it never went out on a table for others to see, it was our own little “masterpiece” to behold. We spooned it up in bowls or on the plates next to the slices of pumpkin pie for those who wanted to desserts.

There is BEAUTY in the shared moments between an adult mother-daughter team who are able to laugh at the disasters life hands us that once may have seemed so important or insurmountable.

I also was able to catch the intended ferry boats in either direction, which was a surprise. No two- or three-hour wait. Again, I was grateful for the ease of the day.

But I was most grateful that I had made a choice earlier in the morning to see this Christmas season from a different perspective, when I wrote “Christmas Day and the Gift of Life.”

Whether or not I believe in the holiday as others do from a religious or a commercial viewpoint and what they think of me, no longer concerns me. I am gracious in being able to accept others for who they are and do not have to engage in the debates. Nor do I feel an attachment to one particular day needing to be THE day of celebration or of giving gifts of self.

My obligation is to simply love. The ideal is the model set before me. The test is the action I take. The result is that there is always something to learn or enjoy. The challenge is understanding that the result is not always the ideal. The surprise is that life continues on. So, LOVE=LIFE=LOVE.

There is BEAUTY in awakening.

* * * * * * * * * *

Copyright © 2013 Coral Levang, and not to be used without permission. May be shared, if properly credited and linked back to this source

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