Merry Christmas!


It seems this time of year just lends itself to taking short walks down memory lane.  The other day, I was thinking about growing-up and having Christmas on Grandmother and Grandfather Kurt’s farm.  Farm is a bit of a misnomer as the only thing my grandparents grew in great quantity was grass for hay.  However, it was 120 acres of farm land out in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma and it was a great place for us grandchildren to explore and enjoy nature.


My grandmother was a bit of a cookie maker... not a great one mind you but more than good enough.  One of her specialties was pfeffernusse cookies.  No... I did not just have a keyboard moment... that is what they are called... pfeffernusse (it is a fun word to say over and over again).  Anyway, her pfeffernusse cookies were little rounded over dark brown cookies about the size of a quarter and as hard as a rock.  She made these things by the dozens and at every Christmas we would find in her kitchen tins and tins of the things... and we all loved them.


Now, I know what you all are thinking... if they were as hard as rocks why did you all love them so much.  And I will tell you... because they were perfect for dunking.  Actually, you didn’t dunk them as much as you had to soak them in order to eat them.  We would all gather around the dining room table with milk glass or coffee mug in hand and a pile of pfeffernuse cookies in the middle of the table.  We would each pick one... examining it for density and float worthiness and then we would count down.  At three, we would each place our cookie in our milk or coffee and then wait with great intensity.  The race was on... the race to be the last one to have their pfeffernusse cookie sink.  As each cookie sank, we would oh and ah and laugh and watch and trash talk and... well... have a grand old time.  And then we would fish out our cookies and eat them telling each other how hard our cookies were still in the center and then do it all over again.  Now... I am here to tell you this was not just a kid thing... the adults joined in on this competition.  As a matter of fact, I think it was my Uncle Carl who came up with the game. 

It is one of my fondest Christmas memories.  And you want to know why, because it was silly and fun and filled with laughter!


This time of year can quickly become about all that needs to be done before the big day... about the perfect gift... the decorations... the shopping... the traffic... the wrapping... the events... the parties... the rude cashier... the rude drivers... the so many things we need to get done before the end of the year.  If we are honest, usually about this time in the season many of us are thinking, “How much longer before all of this is over!”  We just want the stress to end... the pressure to let up... Christmas day to hurry up and arrive so we can get back to normal.


Well, here is my Christmas wish for each an everyone of you... I hope that you each find time this season to sit with friends or family around a table and just be silly for a moment... just be a kid and do something silly like having a cookie sinking race.  Don’t worry about the calories or what you need to do tomorrow.  Just live into the moment and create a memory... a silly memory that you will never forget... no matter how grown-up and old you get.



Pastor Steve