When it was announced that Molllie Makes, an English Magazine I have subscribed a long ago (and am only now missing number one!) was going to have a younger sister called The Simple Things, I subscribed on the spot. I waited a few months for the first issue to arrive on my mail box and now, twice a month, I enjoy these two treasures!
I really like this magazine because I love what it brings up in me: my simple things. And often these take me back down memory lane and sometimes they make me sing the famous song from The Sound of Music, “My favorite things”. I know the lyrics by heart: “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…” and some of “Maria’s” favorite things are my Simple Things. I love the sound of rain on my window just when it starts falling, the smell of wet grass, the smell of baked cookies and chocolate cake. Oh and homemade bread too. I like brown paper packages tied up with spring, I really like thick hot chocolate and red tea.
I fiund my shelter when I go to bed at night and rest my head in my husband’s shoulder or when my daughter wakes up in the morning and calls Mummy. I love the way my youngest son smiles when we decide to do something just the two of us. I adore the kisses and hugs the two older ones still concede me from time to time. I love watching a storm over a valley and climb a green mountain in spring. I like to wake up in the morning and know that I am loved and that I have so many to love! That is my simplest and yet my grandest of things! And isn’t it just simple and grand at the same time?
So when a few weeks back my parents brought me this magazine saying: “we saw this in London and thought it was so you” I just could not resist and say “I know, I have them all”. But the funny part of this story is that in the middle of the simple things mentioned in this issue there was one that brought back memories to my father.
Being the son of an English woman and we as her descendants, cookies are a big thing in our family! So somehow these cookies reminded him of his childhood. These lavender and lemon cookies were, it seems, one of his simple things.
I always bake on Christmas eve or the day before with my children so they learn that they can also give something to others although they are still small to purchase: a proof of their love for others and a way for them to thank the gifts they receive.
So this year, these cookies were our simple baked gift. Mind you they were not easy to bake, until you got the hang of the right thickness and oven time, but still we made close to 200 cookies this year.
I am not sure they taste great and I am not even certain I will ever make them again but the moment I knew this was one of my Father’s simple things I knew I had to make them for him. You see the thing is that whith a Father it is always hard to tell what he really likes because being the parent of girls (and boys) he always aims to please us so even if dinner is the one thing he loads, he will still tell you it was delicious.
My Father is the most generous person I know, the most humble, the one that suffers in silence and loves with actions more than words. He dedicates himself to his job with a passion and righteousness that is truly uncommon. He rarely complains and yes he for sure has his faults, but for us, he is an example. Funny that in many ways I see his reflection in one of my brothers….and in myself. I have never heard him brag about his achievements, never heard him speak about the good deeds he makes but yet his generosity his uncounted for! He even has an homeless man that we call his friend (too long a story to explain)!
This Christmas we exchanged gifts, some bought, some homemade, some simple some not so, but in every single one there was the recognition of love between a family that has known hardship, pain and suffering, joy, triumph and success but that at the end of the day can still sit on the floor and carefully listen and wait the simple happening of Christmas inside each one of us. And that is my simple thing too and I wait a whole year for it.
Do you know what else is my Simple Thing? My Family. A complex group of 16 people is my Simple thing. Ok, ok, my Favorite thing!
Just because it was Christmas after all I decorated these boxes and bags where we placed the cookies. They were all decortaed my me and in total we gave 19 simple baked gifts this Christmas.
I always find it amazing how a smell, an image, a feeling, a friend, an image on TV can trigger a memory. I do hope that the smell and taste of these cookies provided that trip down memory lane for my Father. If not I will keep trying until I make them just the way you love, Father! And that is a promise (and I never fail a promise).
When I was smaller we always watched “The Sound of Music” on Christmas Day at my Grandmother’s house. It is a tradition I am sad to have lost! It was such a simple thing! And one of my favorite things too! And if you do not know Maria’s song then you really most listen carefully and then search within yourself for your favorite and simple things. I have found mine, hope you find yours too!!!!
Merry Christmas everyone!