Advent Joy: Holiday Communing and Christmas Stollen Recipe 

Holiday Communing 

Wishlists exchanged
Litanies of 
Gift cards purchased

Recipes bookmarked
Cookies baked
Worry and anticipation mingle

Guest rooms dusted and polished
Meals planned
Phone calls and texts
Electronic prayers 
Wing across the miles
What will you bring?
When will you arrive?

Mantel decorated
Special napkins washed
Presents wrapped and waiting

“What’s your ETA?”

They arrive from distant planets
Brooklyn and Illinois
With bags and good cheer
Hugs surround us all
as the cold air blows
them in the door

Fussy and excited children
Beeline for the toy closet
The house is bursting

My heart as well 
naps negotiated 
Presents opened
Bread is broken
Meals consumed
Cookies praised

navigating each person’s space
Who eats what?  When and where?
Some sleep, others don’t
Quiet? Loud?

Introverts and extroverts 
bump around the house
Oops! Don’t talk about that
How do we have the same parents?
But then
Connections thrown across the living room
And caught
The hours fly
In the hymn of family conversation

Before we’re ready
Cousins yell goodbye
Cars are packed
Hugs again
Wheels turn
Doors close

Dust settles like a blessing on the living room
All is quiet
Sadness mixes quietly with relief
The house is empty
My heart is full
Of holiday stillness.

Christmas Stollen
(from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook)

This is a great bread to have on hand when you have holiday guests overnight.  Besides being a festive sweet bread,  you can make it ahead of time and freeze it until it’s needed.

1 pkg.dry yeast
¼ c. warm water
Stir the yeast into the warm water and let it stand for 5 min to dissolve.

¾ c. warm milk
¼ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. Salt
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 eggs
3 c. flour
Mix milk, granulated sugar, salt, butter and eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Add dissolved yeast, beat thoroughly, and add 1 ½ cups flour, beating until well blended.  Cover the bowl and let rist in a warm place for about 1 hour.

Add enough of the remaining flour so that the dough is easy to handle.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 min.  

1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
½ c. chopped almonds
¾ c. candied fruit

Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead with the lemon rind, almonds, and candied fruit for a few minutes.  Pat dough into an oval ¼ inch thick.  Fold dough in half lengthwise bringing the upper half not quite to the edge of the lower half and press down along the edge to secure.  Place on buttered cookie sheets, cover and let double in bulk.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake stollen for 35 min.

1 c. confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp water

Mix sugar, lemon juice, and water and glaze the cake while it is still warm.  Decorate with gradnish of candied fruit and nuts.

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Published by Gwen Lantz

Stay-at-home-Jill-of-all-trades I am hoping to create connections with people and the world around me, while being creatively engaged in what is happening right in front of my nose!

4 thoughts on “Advent Joy: Holiday Communing and Christmas Stollen Recipe 

  1. It was a joy to imagine you and Randy and Karla and families all together, Gwen! Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas to you all! Please pass greetings on to your parents. I think we’ll join Mom and Dad at Big Spring new year’s day, but I don’t know if your parents still go across the mountain. Best wishes, James

    Liked by 1 person

    1. James – Thank you and wonderful to hear from you! I will pass along your greetings. Yes, you will most likely see my parents that Sunday. Big Spring remains a very important part of their lives. Merry Christmas to you and your family! -Gwen


  2. Beautiful. I can picture the scene, the faces. Smiled at “how do we have the same parents”; teared up at “Abruptly, before we’re ready.” Thank you ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

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