I have seen a lot of Christmases. Like birthdays, they don’t seem to as magical when one is older. I celebrated Christmas Eve by spending five hours putting together a tasty beef stew, served with a crusty artisanal baguette and a bottle of Egri Bikavér (“Bull’s Blood of Eger”) Hungarian red wine. It was the best stew I ever made. I remember sometimes cooking myself a stew (accompanied with red wine) back when I was in my twenties and alone for the holidays. So it is a tradition of sorts for me.
Like my brother—though nowhere as good as him at it—I find cooking to be one of my favorite creative outlets. So I will translate this into a Christmas wish for those of you who come across this post:
May you and your loved ones find joy in what you do and with whom you share it, in the coming year and always.
What may or may not have happened in Bethlehem some two thousand plus years ago has cast a long shadow. I take from it some useful lessons, but not the whole package. I am content with that.