The Table: A monthly newsletter with stuff for the soul.
December 2021 edition
I read a post lately where someone was explaining that instead of saying “Happy Holidays,” her therapist makes it a practice to say, “Have a gentle holiday.” The reason is because the holidays are not happy, bright, or merry for many of us, and we need to be sure we are being gentle with ourselves during this sensitive time. Many of us have lost people this last year. Loved ones are battling illnesses. We’re worried about our families, our finances, our friendships. Injustice swirls all around us. Some of us will be spending the holidays along, some don’t feel welcome to go home for the holidays, and some of us have no home to go to.
So, if I could change the photo above, I’d wish you a gentle holiday season. I hope you are getting rest, and have enough to eat, and enough company to make you feel less alone. Be gentle with yourself during these coming weeks, because you, dear one, are a gift, and we need your light in this world. You matter, you have purpose, and you are loved beyond imagination.
Have a gentle holiday. I am so very thankful for you, this year and always.
LOOK WHAT’S HERE!
The proof recently arrived from the printer, and I got a chance to hold this beautiful baby in my hands. It’s gone to the press, and we are on track for the February 22 release. I am so excited to release this book into the world, and I hope you enjoy reading it. It’s my story, yes, but it’s also a story for anyone who’s been knocked down by life and somehow found the strength to get back up and keep going. Stay tuned for more release details!
Additionally, I’ll be going live on Instagram on January 1 at 8pm EST for a reading from the book as well as a Q&A session. As a reminder, you can follow me on Instagram at @ell_del if you’re not already so you won’t miss it!
In Case You Missed It…
I re-shared a post of mine about peacemaking vs peacekeeping during Advent
I shared about our family’s Advent calendar and how you can make one, too
I started exploring my Spanish ancestry through cuisine
I started fundraising for my December 2022 trip to the Holy Land for seminary
I wrote about playing the cards we’re dealt instead of focusing on what’s in others’ hands
I reflected on how we are literally and metaphorically reshaped because of Christ in us
On My Plate…
This festive appetizer from Half Baked Harvest is absolutely delicious! I was a bit worried about how intensive the recipe would be, but it was much easier than I anticipated. If you want something fun to serve this Christmas, check out the recipe here.
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I received a copy of it for my recent birthday. (PS: I wrote about wintering in last month’s newsletter, in case you missed it!) Wintering, May says, is a way to get through tough times by chilling, hibernating, healing, re-grouping. "Doing these deeply unfashionable things — slowing down, letting your spare time expand, getting enough sleep, resting — is a radical act now, but it is essential," she writes.
This is a good one! Grab your copy wherever books are sold.
Young Living Oils…
Did you know that you no longer need to buy a starter kit to become a Young Living member? Joining is now easier than ever. You can spend either 100+PV or add one item (any item!) to your monthly Subscribe to Save. STS offers you a percentage back for each month you order, plus promos each month and free products along the way.
Things I ordered in my subscription for December included:
lip balms for stocking stuffers
sleepy time oils like Lavender, White Angelica, and Sacred Frankincense
foaming hand soaps
holiday oils like Christmas Spirit and Pine to make my house smell delicious
beard oil for my husband
Vanillamint body butter (the most incredible combo of peppermint + vanilla)
Remember that you can become a Young Living member and unlock your 24% discount by ordering or signing up for a monthly subscription. It’s completely customizable and you can cancel any time!
A Recipe From Me To You…
One of our family activities this Advent was to make our own Christmas ornaments. We adapted a salt dough recipe from Krista Coons, aka Her Name is Mud, and love how it turned out! The dough stays a nice, bright white which looks beautiful all on its own — but also is easily painted, if that’s what you prefer.
Ingredients: 2 c baking soda, 1 c cornstarch, 1.5 c water (we also added some cinnamon and orange essential oils)
Method: Mix baking soda and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan, and stir in water. Cook over medium heat, gently stirring and lifting the dough from the bottom and sides as it cooks. Once it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes, remove from heat and let cool enough to handle. Remove dough from pot and store in a damp dishtowel until it’s cooled. Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper with a rolling pin — and then start creating! We used cookie cutters and little toys to make imprints in the dough, and a straw to make the hole at the top for stringing twine through.
Once finished, set out to air-dry (do not bake!) for approximately 16-24 hours until fully hardened. Enjoy! This recipe is definitely a keeper!