There's a reverent hush that seems to fall over Christmas Eve the way a soft blanket gently drapes across a body in need of soothing comfort and warmth.
As the twilight of this special evening comes upon us, it creates a space for the glimmering, shimmering lights to sparkle and reveal themselves, and makes way for the twinkling stars in the cold, clear sky to blink and wink at us as if to express their own joy at this precious and wonder-filled time of year.
In our home, Christmas Eve is that special time when our little family comes together in warm reflection and in gratitude for the myriad blessings we have so richly received throughout the year, and also for the lessons we have had the opportunity to learn.
It's a celebration of the love we have for each other and the uniqueness that each of us bring to our family that makes us perfectly who we are.
And for those precious family members that we cannot physically be with during this contemplative time, we hold them in our thoughts and in our prayers that evening, and send them our blessings in whispers and in spirit, as we partake in a meal prepared especially for this luminous evening that is meant to warm and nourish us to our cores.
Christmas Eve holds within it a glorious anticipation of a love and a selflessness that is yet to come; it holds within it the promise of a connectivity and a joy unlike any we have yet experienced.
It is not only a glittery and gleaming precursor to that day that is filled with gifts and other material matters, it is that precious sliver of time that begins to gently warm our heart, the way that a fire flickering in the fireplace begins to warm the body, and that has the potential to bring us beautifully to our knees to reunite in heart and in soul with the One that created all.
Christmas Eve is pregnant with our potential; it is ripe with the amazing promise of a love eternal, one that can never be destroyed or marred in any way.
And its wondrous light is there to fill us; there for our pleasure; and there for us to luxuriate in.
The light is there for us to drink in and to taste its sweet richness as it wonderfully coats our palette and flows into our very being-ness, and offers an awareness of all that we have available before us.
So may this Christmas Eve be the most special and awe-filled one that you have yet experienced; may it be the most love-centered and selfless one that you can ever remember having.
And may we each receive more that is of true value and of spiritual fulfillment than we ever could've hoped for, that this amazing potential for love and mercy may finally be birthed and live within each of us so that we may taste what life eternal truly is.
Taste what's good and pass it on.
Christmas Eve Sipping Chocolate topped with Rich Peppermint Whipped Cream
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 6
• 4 cups whole milk
• 1 cup plus 2 heaping tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
• ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• Rich Peppermint Whipped Cream (recipe below)
• Crushed peppermint candy, for garnish
-Add the milk to a medium-size pot, and place it over medium-low heat; after several minutes, when the milk becomes very warm, add in the chocolate chips and carefully whisk to blend until the chocolate is completely melted into the milk.
-Reduce your heat to low, add in the cocoa, and gently whisk to blend until it dissolves into the warm chocolatey milk.
-Next, add in the sugar and the vanilla, and mix to incorporate and dissolve; continue to heat for a couple of moments more, just until everything is nice and hot, and well blended.
-Pour into pretty mugs, and top with a generous amount of the Rich Peppermint Whipped Cream and crushed peppermints.
Rich Peppermint Whipped Cream Ingredients:
• 16 ounces cold whipping cream
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon, plus a couple of extra drops, pure peppermint extract
• ½ cup powdered sugar
-Add the cold whipping cream to a large bowl, and add in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
-Using a hand mixer, whip the cream on medium-low until it becomes slightly thickened, and then sprinkle in the powdered sugar; continue to whip until fluffy and thickened, and stiff peaks form.
-Use immediately, or keep cold in the fridge until ready to use.