This year we planned to have slightly fewer dishes for Christmas. I should have been happy about that, considering what a horror it is for me to realize that a holiday where we sing of the modest manger has turned in so many ways into a time we gorge ourselves in food and almost eat ourselves sick. Of course we do it out of a good intention of enjoyment and sharing, but it's kind of painful for me to hear all the time "I've eaten so much that I can barely move" or "No, no we cannot possibly take more cake home, we wouldn't know what to do with it". Sometimes I feel I am a part of some crazy game, we know we will have too much food, we know we will eat too much, but we still do it anyway because we want to make our best foods and taste them with our loved ones and friends.
It has taken me a bit of time to realize I don't actually have to eat everything there is on the table to taste the best things and enjoy myself. But it is much harder to stop myself from thinking "I need to cook, I need to cook, there won't be enough". And it seems like our plan to make maybe two or three dishes less woke up some inner panic in me, that we would be short of something. So instead of making one principal dish I planned (in our family we divide the cooking and each of each us makes something), I added a few more... Now, I don't have to tell you, that even if I hadn't made them, we would have had enough. Enough to go around, enough to share, enough to enjoy, enough new tastes to discover and traditional ones to savor.
And so here is my lesson in abundance. My abundance at Christmas does not come from worrying, from calculating and making lots of food. My abundance comes from the fact that when you have a big, loving family and friends who will come for a visit and whom you visit, there will be enough, there will be sharing, there will be variety, and there will be all those special dishes that need to be there.