Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Merry Christmas: I come bearing presents!

Christmas takes on a deeper meaning when you're living a life with Cancer. You always think, is this going to be my last Christmas? You make every effort to make it special, or at least more profound. Last Christmas I was strapped to a breathing apparatus the size of a suitcase with meters of cannula, tubes of plastic that I have to drag around the house, into bed, the shower, it had to be everywhere, or I stop breathing. Did that stop me from having Christmas? I didn't let it! I couldn't go out shopping, or watch the wonderful store displays, or do my favourite holiday thing, browsing the Christmas markets, but, thank goodness for the mighty internet, Christmas got sorted and delivered. Family came which made it the occasion it should be. A true Christmas.
This year, confident as I am in my healing protocols, there is still that haunting question in my mind, will I be around next Christmas? It's just a question you can't help but ask when you're as sick as I am, sorry if that came out upsetting.
I love Christmas trees. I vary and change my theme every year, setting up the tree kick starts my Christmas frenzy. We are moving in January and I have put our tree in storage by mistake so we just have the small one that used to go in my daughter's room. I had a theme in mind this year and I had bought some ornaments, celebrating the fact that I can actually hand pick them in store. Liberty, Harrod's, Fortnum and Mason, and the Christmas Markets had the best ones. I decided to stick with the little tree this year, save the ornaments for next year, that would hopefully send a message to my cells, "we've got to stick around for that tree!"
Growing up in Manila where holiday music starts playing as early as September (no kidding), it's not a wonder it's my favourite season. I have spent Christmases in different parts of the world but nothing matches Christmas in the Philippines. It's an amazing package of love, spirituality, and gluttony, and if you're not careful, bankruptcy :) My Christmases were always filled with joy back there. I try to relive that wherever I end up spending Christmas in. Wrapping presents is my thing, I know some of you are like "what?".  I love it, when wrapping Christmas presents, I set up the mood. I play holiday music while sipping eggnog (chamomile tea this year) and home made cinnamon cookies. My husband and kids will never get to the level of Christmas I know, the kids used to hop in on all the hysteria but they don't join me anymore. They don't get all the ballyhoo that comes over me at this time of year. But, they love the presents nevertheless, funny.
This Christmas again is filled with gratitude, thankful that I'm even around to take part. I will look forward to the next one.
I searched through some Ezines I used to write for that still had my articles and photographs and found this, the Irish Coffee recipe I wrote for The Vancouver Observer, perfect with Cinnamon Cookies on cold Christmas nights, or just to put you in the mood. Consider it my gift - you're welcome!
Cinnamon Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs until fluffy. Mix in the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Knead until cinnamon is well incorporated evenly. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. Roll dough into floured surface, cut dough with your choice of cutters. Place 2 “ apart on lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until done. They’re good plain or you can frost and decorate them. Your house will smell of Christmas!

I hope your Christmas is filled with love and meaning this year, let it flow with gratitude! Look forward to the blessings of another year. Do watch the cream and alcohol though (just one Irish Coffee will serve the fix)

Merry Christmas everyone!
 click below for Christmas music to set the mood..