I DID IT!! I have posted a photo from every day this year.
Before you look at the December pictures, I will warn you that some of the captions are a s-t-r-e-t-c-h. I had a one-to-one ratio of captions to pictures this month, so I had to make it work.
December 1. First (This is the first bridge in a series of 6 bridges along this portion of the trail).
December 2. Merry
December 3. Lips
December 4. Free (Super Double Coupon Day might be better than Christmas. Harris Teeter paid me $0.72 to buy these protein bars).
December 5. Music
December 6. Ornament
December 7. Worship
December 8. Continuous shooting mode (I didn’t have my camera with me today, so I used my phone to snap about 35 photos of this woodpecker as viewed through my dad’s binoculars. Sadly, this was the best picture).
December 9. Panning (Literally used the panning technique to take a photo of a pan. An alternate caption for this photo could be “Out of ideas”)
December 10. Children (I had to tutor at least 1 hour per week for a class that I took this semester. On December 10, I used Legos to teach the state capitals. I don’t know if the kid learned anything, but we had fun! In this picture, he is explaining the Rube Goldberg machine that he drew on the bottom of his science homework.)
December 11. Smiles
December 12. Kindness
December 13. Christmas tree
December 14. Snowflake
December 15. Hot
December 16. Holiday
December 17. Aquatic (do you know how hard it is to take a picture titled “aquatic” in the middle of December?!)
December 18. Amateur
December 19. Sell
December 20. Person
December 21. Winter
December 22. Puzzle
December 23. Someone I love (I am thankful that I got to spend today with this happy couple! P.S. We finished the puzzle.)
December 24. Snow (Do you see it down there in the bottom right corner?)
December 25. Christmas
December 26. Romantic (Get it? Because Walden Pond inspired the book Walden, which was written during the Romantic period of American literature? No? Too much of a stretch? Sorry.)
December 27. Kinship (Because all institutions of higher education share the pursuit of knowledge).
December 28. Family (I spent this beautiful day with my family. We did take a selfie in this spot, but I thought this photo was slightly better.)
December 29. Shirt
December 30. Jump
December 31. Last
If you want, you can also check out the first eleven months of the year:
When I was little, I loved any song with the word joy, mostly because my middle name is Joye (pronounced joy), and I liked the idea that people were singing about me.
One of the most common Christmas carols with the word joy is “Joy to the World” by Isaac Watts. Surprisingly, Watts’s inspiration was not Luke 2, the account of Jesus’ birth, but Psalm 98, a psalm that praises Christ for His imminent return. That’s right: one of our favorite “Christmas” songs is actually about Christ’s second coming.
On Saturdays, I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week. These posts may grow or change as time passes. Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!
1. Giving away presents
This week, I distributed presents to my coworkers and friends. As cliche as it sounds, I am sure giving the presents to my friends brought me as much joy as they felt receiving the gifts.
My favorite family tradition is Christmas morning breakfast. We devour homemade waffles, bacon, and fruit before we open presents. Christmas morning at our house is slow and peaceful.
If your family tends to have a more rushed Christmas morning, then this is the perfect Christmas morning breakfast for you. You can bake these pancake bars a night or two before and warm them in the microwave on Christmas morning. They are dense, chewy, and slightly sweet, just like an extra-thick pancake.
3 cups of pancake mix + the extra ingredients listed on the package (water, eggs, milk, oil, etc.)
1 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare pancake batter according to the directions on the package.
Stir in cocoa powder, 2 tbs peanut butter, 1 banana (mashed), and the powdered sugar.
Pour batter into a pan that has been coated with non-stick spray.
Microwave remaining peanut butter about 30 seconds, until drippy. Use a spoon to pour peanut butter in a zig-zag pattern across the top of the pancake bars.
Cut remaining banana into slices, and arrange the slices on the top of the pancake bars.
Bake pancake bars for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
Leave it to the grad student who is studying English to research the etymology of noel…
Noel is a French word which means Christmas (go figure), but it is derived from the Latin word nātālis, meaning birthday. As I thought about nātālis, I geekily marveled at the phonestheme: natalis, natal, nativity, native, nation, natural…
But I digress; I am not giving an English lesson today. Instead, I want to talk about the first noel, the holy nativity.