The holiday season revolves around one main theme, and is supported by a symphony of little details. Whether you’re religious or not, it is a fact that the holidays exist because of religion,  regardless of which one you align with. If you are not religious, the weeks are commonly spent thinking about family, giving, and gratitude. Most people you ask will agree that one of the following:  Christmas, Hanukkah, family, giving, Kwanzaa, charity, and thankfulness are on their mind. In addition to this, there are some common staples that tend to matter to us all: sales, decorating, traveling, parties, and of course, Christmas cookies. 

The other day, I made one of the easiest and most delicious cookies I know how- peanut butter with Hersey kisses. It’s really simple, yet I still managed to mess something up. I was having a great time baking by myself – Justin Bieber Christmas album playing, punch being sipped, festive candles lit – and managed to put all the dough (which I had cut into cute shapes, thank you very much) onto a pan that would not fit into my oven. So here I am, trying to put aside my worries for a little bit and do something silly and fun, and the work I had done was momentarily threatened by the fact I had used an oversized pan. To make matters worse, I had three spectators now, who were telling me that my idea of trying to bake the cookies with the oven half open was bogus, and I needed to redo it. I was stubborn and refused – agitated with a kitchen full of chiefs and no Indians – and although the cookies took nearly twice as long to get golden brown, my crazy plan worked and my twin neighbors ate them happily with no complaint (thanks guys.) Although this story may be festive, comical, and relatable, what I really want to share is what God taught me.

That night as I lounged in bed reading, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized that of all moments, God was using my Christmas cookie comedy to teach me something: a metaphor for my life of sorts. I’ve never been one to go by the books. I’ve always been independent, creative, and stubborn as hell. But just because I don’t live my life ‘by the books’ or how someone else would suggest the way to achieving success, doesn’t mean that I cannot reach my goals and have my own ideas. God has had a plan for me all along, and I was reminded that His plan for me is completely unique for ME, and I should never compare myself to anyone else as a barometer for my own success and worth. Getting creative when faced with adversity is a gift I’ve been blessed with, and anyone who has an issue with that can take it up with the man himself. Let us be grateful for individuality, sacrifice, personal gifts, and moments of understanding. God bless and Merry Christmas. 

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