Thinking back to when my daughter was only three, as we were sitting on the couch, she turned to me with a twinkle in her eye and asked, “Mommy, what corner exactly is Christmas around?”

The mind of a child is so literal. I think of that statement that Abby made, and relate it to this upcoming New Year. The New Year is right around the corner and I find myself reflecting back to many lives that have been touched in 2006. Lives that, hopefully, in a humbling way, our family has touched. And lives, in a powerful way, who have touched our family. And much of this building of relationships has been centered around breaking bread together.

Looking at a magazine recently, my husband and I noticed a very popular celebrity cook on the front cover. We both noticed she looked different, she looked … thinner! Then we talked about how the new “hot” popular celebrities look … better, skinnier, more beautiful, and even “touched up”. These people are suppose to be the ones who we look up to, who have the unfettered answers in life. Who live perfect lives.

Thank goodness we can be ourselves. Life is not perfect and some people just naturally have the gift of hospitality, of creating inviting, mouth-watering meals and a warm environment. Those who don’t can learn. We can extend the same warmth and exuberance to others that we would to our own families, if we would just step out. We all have potential to make guests feel nurtured.

In a world of perfection-driven cooks, I urge you to make it a new goal in 2007 to reach out and bring more people into your home. Food is often the magnet that draws even the “out-of-sorts” family member into the warm embrace. It’s a good challenge, one that can be exciting and fun and, “wow! what a ride!”

Here is a great quote I read today:
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: ‘Wow! What a ride!'” – Robert Wickman

HAPPY 2007!
PHOTO BY PAUL COUGHLIN

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