If there was a time machine, my preferred time to visit would be in the 1800′s or may be even a earlier. I love the Laura Ingles era. This Christmas, we plan to explore old traditions that date back to the early American Pioneer days. We’ve decided to keep all the “store-bought” decorations in their comfy boxes in order for us to experience how our ancestors celebrated the Christmas season. The gifts can be handmade but only from natural materials. Each week, we hope you join us in this adventure. The Advent activities will include recipes, gift ideas, and of course Bible teachings.
We hope you enjoy creating the Pioneer Advent Christmas theme as much as we will……
November 21, 2010
Bible Verse: 2 Timothy 1:6 (KJV) Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
Tradition: This ritual of the mixing up the Christmas pudding started in America from families who came from Britain. Some families made the Christmas pudding on the first day of Advent while others made it on the Sunday prior to the Advent season. The Christmas pudding was a thick batter that was tied up in a linen cloth and boiled only to be stored for several weeks to let the flavors blend.
Each family member took turns stirring the batter. As they stirred a wish was made. However, to make the wish come true the person must stir from east to west. This was a reminder of the journey the three wise men made to visit baby Jesus. Now, of course, the wise men carried gifts. “Gifts” of raisins, nuts, and spices because of their expense in the pioneer days were added to the batter. Last but not least, a silver coin was dropped into the batter. The person who finds the coin on Christmas day will find good favor or will come into wealth the upcoming year.
Recipe: Since time is a factor around the Christmas season, I have chosen a great apple and carrot cake recipe to make for our Stir- Up Sunday. It can be baked the same day and enjoyed. Plus it is a healthier….if there is such a cake…. cake than the traditional Christmas pudding.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded peeled apple
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands®, All Natural, No Corn Syrup Added, Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil and sugars until smooth. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to egg mixture just until combined. Stir in carrots and apple.
- Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a small bowl, combine the frosting ingredients; beat until smooth. Spread over cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 9 servings.
*** be sure to wash a silver coin and drop it in the batter before pouring it into cake pan.
Activity: While serving the cake, discuss the Bible Verse 2 Timothy 1:6 (KJV). You may want to read the verse in the NIV or a Contemporary English Version to help the younger family members understand the meaning of this verse.
Prayer: Our Father, thank you for this time we have spent today stirring up our faith and your spirit while we prepare for the Christmas season. Father, we ask that you stir among us as we celebrate Advent and the true meaning of Christmas. We ask that you bless us as only YOU can.