We got back last night from a lovely Thanksgiving break with my parents in Atlanta, and for a few minutes this morning I started feeling overwhelmed by the fact that it is already December. I have not bought a single Christmas gift or put up a single decoration. I have done absolutely zero cute Christmasy crafts with my children. I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that our town’s Christmas parade is coming up on Saturday and the Christmas program at my daughter’s pre-school is just a week from tonight. So I started to feel just a tiny bit panicky. For about two minutes. And then I was over it. Why did I get over it so fast? Because when you truly accept Advent as a spiritual journey towards a timeless revelation, you can duck right under the anxiety-inducing whirlwind of “stuff.” Of course I will still decorate, later this afternoon I will work on presents, and hopefully I will even remember to get out our new Advent calendar tonight. But Christmas will happen whether I do these things or not. I will not miss it because I did not get everything done. I will only miss it if get lost in “stuff,” forget where I am going, and lose hold of the quietness and simplicity of heart that will get me there.
In the spirit of quietness and simplicity (and because we did not get back from our road trip until well after dark last night and I do, in fact, want to get a few concrete things done this week), I have planned a simple menu for the upcoming week.
- Monday: Dhal Bhat with Brown Basmati Rice and Carrots and Cabbage For the Carrots and Cabbage I will essentially make the filling for these dumplings, but maybe leave the cabbage in long strips. Someday I will figure out how to make egg-free wonton wrappers, but not this week. This week is about simplicity.
- Tuesday: White Bean and Quinoa Burgers with Roasted Tomatoes
- Wednesday: Leftover Dhal Bhat Hurray for leftovers! My kids may or may not eat the Dhal Bhat. Sometimes they will eat it once but not for leftovers. While I usually serve them at least a tiny bit of whatever we are eating, I do sometimes just make them scrambled eggs or other easy fixes if I’m serving something I don’t think they will eat.
- Thursday: Vegan Gingerbread Cookies to bring to church for our St. Nicholas celebration
- Friday: Salmon and Kale Happy St. Nicholas Day! Fish is allowed today in honor of the feast.