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Thoughts on giving, plus egg nog recipes for your holiday season

By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve


December 15, 2010 (Boulevard)--The presents are wrapped and the little dears are tucked up tight. All the games and toys and electronics advertised on TV – wrapped up under the tree. Oh, wait, that was last year, or the one before. This Christmas everyone seems to be downsizing IF they are lucky enough to even have a home, and a job, and something extra. So the question is HOW do you make this a wonderful Christmas if the day itself is not really about the quantity of gifts?


A few ideas come to mind:

• Change your traditions a bit, for example, invite solos to your feast [solos are non-family members], let everyone sleep in until noon, set your main meal for a different time of day
• Explain your situation frankly to the little dears, they are more resilient than you think
• Ask the little dears to contribute, work-wise, like bake cookies, decorate and set the table, tidy the common rooms
• Pack up a food basket for someone you know that is less fortunate. If you don’t know of one ask a service club or a church nearby – involve your children
• Make some egg nog from scratch – and have some at 10am [one cup will do it]
• Get some Christmas carol music and words and challenge the family to sing along
• Go out hiking? Yes! In nature? Yes! Regardless of the weather? Yes! Hiking in the mist is refreshing and fun. And return home for some tasty hot chocolate that will hit the spot.

One of the great qualities Americans have is the quality of ingenuity. There are many ideas in magazines and on the internet that can supplement these suggestions. Put your thinking cap on, brainstorm together, and find new ways to celebrate with your little and big dears. You may be feeling sad because of the economy, or because of your health, or because of loss, or because you cannot give the little dears all you want to give them this year. It is time to set that feeling aside for now. For the few days of Christmas and afterward, let your morning wake-up time be full of thanks for what you do have. You just might end up changing your life and the lives of your little dears!


Eggless Nog

1 ½ quart of milk
1 ¼ teaspoon rum extract
¾ teaspoon nutmeg

Combine pudding mix and 2 cups of the milk. Chill the pudding for 5 minutes in the refrigerator. Add the rum extract and the nutmeg. Mix in the remaining milk. Chill the nog and serve. Add rum or brandy if desired.
Egg Nog
2 dozen eggs
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1 quart heavy cream
750 mL brandy
750 mL rum
½ gallon milk
1 tsp nutmeg
Granulated sugar

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Beat confectioners’ sugar into egg yolks. Mix the light cream, heavy cream, and milk together in a separate bowl. Mix the egg yolks and the cream mixture together. Add desired amount of brandy and rum. Add the nutmeg. Whip the egg whites with the sugar to form for the top of the nog.

The Purple Mountain Sage welcomes questions from readers! Write to us at: askthepurplemountainsage@gmail.com.

The Purple Mountain Sage is Sharon Courmousis, co-owner of Sacred Rocks Reserve and RV Park, a 163-acre wilderness preserve and campground in Boulevard, CA, which is also home to Sacred Rocks Artists’ Colony. She leads people on personal journeys that transform their lives. Sharon can be reached by calling: 619-766-4480. Visit the Sacred Rocks Reserve website at: www.sacredrocksreserve.com.

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