Friday, November 27, 2015


Image result for the spirit of christmas

  Christmas brings a new life to the believers. Much before Christmas comes, the mood around the world changes. It is the anticipation of lovely days ahead of giving joy, meeting friends and family and feeling the spirit in the air that changes the most negative person to positive moods. Chistmas makes a person different. The same man, who you never see smiling, laughs during Christmas. That is the festive spirit of Christmas and that is why it is a lovely festival.
    The most important part of Christmas is of course celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Another ritual of Christmas that makes it so special is giving. We send so many cards to friends and family that we lose the count. Similarly giving gifts is very important. Selecting the right gift for everyone, wrapping it lovingly and sending it across, all this is joyful. This joy cannot be described in words.
    As said earlier, it is the giving that is the major reason of happiness. If we look at our moods and behavior, we find that we always derive greater joy in giving compared to receiving. Can we not celebrate this spirit of giving everyday? Can we not get this joy everyday? Can we not make someone happy everyday? We can. With conscious effort, we can do one act a day that makes somebody genuinely happy. Why not carry the spirit of Christmas all the year and enjoy the happiness of giving. One is blessed when one gives. Let us get these blessings round the year.

The Spirit Of Christmas

   Many of us have difficulty enjoying the holidays for a number of reasons, but usually, in one way or another, the reasons have to do with family. It is, however, possible to regain a sense of peace and to find enjoyment in the season. The first step is to let go of feeling like you have to do the holiday in a certain way. Sometimes this can feel challenging, but you really can do it.
    The most common reasons people have trouble with Christmas is it may mark the anniversary of the loss of a loved one, there may be a lot of family discord or alcoholism in the family, or there may be great loneliness. If any of these reasons describe your situation, you will need to find new ways of passing the holidays so that you can find more joy. Going along with the way things have been in past years will not help you to find peace.
    Give yourself permission to avoid or limit exposure to people who make you unhappy over the holidays. Family pressures can be intense, so if you need to, you can change your participation in family events by stages. Even shortening visits will help you reclaim some of your time but perhaps even more importantly, you will start to regain a sense of control over your own life by making choices for yourself instead of passively going along. This will help you a great deal to feel better.

    Also, find old or new activities on or around the holidays that have meaning for you, no matter how unconventional they may be. You really do not have to spend Christmas any particular way. 'Holiday' literally means a day of freedom from labor, as well as 'holy day.' The word 'holy' in turn, means 'belonging to God' but it is interesting to note the word 'holy' comes from root words meaning sound, whole, and happy. Holidays should be your days of freedom, and a chance to feel whole and happy, not distressed and burdened. Find activities that help you feel this way.


  This recipe is from www.marthastewart.com.  What doesn't go better for a Thanksgiving dessert than chocolate and pumpkin??  Nothing I can think of at this moment.  Make this for one of your holiday happenings and I guarantee there won't be any left over or to take home.

   Chocolate shows up in three guises throughout this dressed-up pumpkin pie. A layer of bittersweet chocolate coats the cinnamon-spiced graham cracker crust, semisweet chocolate adds depth and smoothness to the pumpkin custard filling, and melted milk chocolate is drizzled over the top just before serving. Make this pie the day before Thanksgiving (minus the milk chocolate topping) to give the filling time to set in the refrigerator.

Yield Serves 12


  • For the Filling

    • 2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
    • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), finely chopped
    • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 55 percent cacao), chopped
    • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
    • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
    • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • Ground cloves
    • 1 ounce milk chocolate, melted


  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  3. Make the filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.
  5. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top. Serve immediately.