THE TELEVISION AND internet ads are claiming this to be a beautiful time of the year.
Some might even declare it “The most wonderful time of the year.”
I don’t like to put that much pressure on these few December weeks or my own expectations for what it means to have a meaningful holiday season.
I figure if we all make it through our family gatherings without yelling at Uncle Jim for his politics or snapping at our mothers-in-law for giving our children another dang cookie 10 minutes before bedtime, then we’ll have done just fine.
And, doing just fine is still better than many who are less fortunate than ourselves, struggling with something difficult, or surfing the holidays without a loved one for the first time.
I am not concerned in the least about making my home “Martha Stewart holiday ready” or preparing immaculate meals or hosting perfection.
That seems a tad hollow to me any time of year.
Instead, I’ll focus on the right-in-front-of-me opportunities to have some warm, winter memories with loved ones in my home.
One such opportunity presented itself last week when I found myself home in the morning on a day when my daughter’s school starts an hour later than usual.
I had left-over pumpkin puree that I’d made for our Thanksgiving pie in the fridge.
It was begging for a rare, but delicious weekday muffin baking.
These come together very quickly, are delicious and the spices make the house smell especially festive.
What a sweet and wonderful surprise for my middle-schooler to have warm muffins Wednesday morning.
We listened to our favorite holiday music and savored a few extra moments together.
It was a simple moment, not especially memorable for anything other than being just fine.
I’ll take it.
Carrie Sanford, who shares the Peninsula Kitchen column with Betsy Wharton, is a mother, wife, educator, artist, activist and cook.
She writes the newsletter for Salt Creek Farm in Joyce during the growing season and volunteers with nonprofits and schools in Port Angeles, where she lives with her husband, Tom Sanford, and their daughter, Abby.