Wednesday, December 23, 2009


2 : a power or process of transforming something common into something special

Today I mixed together flour, sugar, a raw egg, vanilla and pecans. Then I rolled this dough around a Hershey's kiss and baked it. Like many of you, I was making Christmas cookies. But as I mixed, measured and baked it occurred to me that baking - and Christmas - are all about taking things that aren't especially exciting alone and putting them together to make something magical. I've often wondered as I baked a cake or made cookies who first thought to put these ingredients together. Who decided it would be a good idea to mix these items that taste OK apart and turn them into something delicious?

While I was mixing dough, another alchemical process was taking place in my kitchen. The eldest daughter held the melted chocolate and the middle daughter dipped the pretzels.

The youngest daughter sprinkled the crushed peppermints on top.

And three ordinary sisters were transformed into friends, co-workers, merry little Christmas elves.
So I think the real magic of Christmas is alchemy: the power of transforming something common into something special. Whether those common things are sisters, baking ingredients or a baby in a manger, it's all magical at Christmas.

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