Yesterday I had to tell my mother-in-law we weren’t coming for Christmas. I think it was hard for her to hear.

For 30 years we’ve traveled over the mountain and through the woods to the beautiful home that sits on 40 acres in the town where my husband and I grew up. We typically spend three days sipping hot cocoa, soaking in the hot tub, sledding and snowmobiling. My in-laws are the perfect hosts. They always have a giant tree cut fresh from the forest. They spend days preparing traditional recipes like seafood chowder that we nibble on after church, before my father-in-law reads Luke Chapter 2 in front of the Christmas tree. On Christmas morning we always have scrapple made of hominy grits and sausage, served fried with butter and real sorghum.

Here’s a video I made from last year.

But this year we have a grand baby, and my daughter’s in-law’s are coming from Texas. So while I grieve the change, I rejoice that my husband’s parents can come here and join us, along with my daughter, and her husband and his family. Of course, our son will be here, and hopefully we’ll see his girlfriend as well.

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Typically I don’t make a cooking a “thing” during the Christmas season. Usually I focus on rest and selfcare. Oh sure I might make a pan of fudge or a batch of cookies, but I don’t go all out. However this year you’ll find me pining over Aunt Velda’s recipe box, remembering the family traditions that have carried down to my husband’s parents and now to me. Even though traditions change, and we need to grieve, doing so allows room for new memories, new recipes, and new traditions.

Still, I’m going to make sure we make the sausage grits, seafood chowder, maybe even a little carmelcorn, and of course we’ll be reading Luke Chapter 2 around our Christmas tree.

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Here are a few recipes I’m pondering:

*Homemade Carmel Corn

*Seafood Chowder 

*Fried Sausage Grits

*Eggs Benedict Casserole

*Modern Mrs Darcy’s Spiced Nuts

What are some of your favorite Christmas recipes? I’d be honored if you would share!

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.”

– Psalm 39:4, NLT

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Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Littleton, CO and an affiliate faculty teacher at Colorado Christian University.

She is also the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice."