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The gift of the story of Three Perfect Strangers

November 21, 2012

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I'd gotten the house clean and had turned my attention to The Closet downstairs where the Christmas gifts have been slowly accumulating. Was doing an inventory of sorts, and it seems I'm about half done with gift-buying for the kids. I pay attention most of the year, and pick up what I can ahead of time when it's on sale, and I'm not in a bad place. Gifts are important, but the spirit of giving is even more so, and when my brothers and our spouses and I draw names on Thanksgiving Day, I know just what gift I'll ask for when the question arises: what do you want for Christmas?

We have a fifty dollar limit for the one name we draw, and I've given thought and this is what I'd like: the gift of the story of Three Perfect Strangers. My request will be that whomever draws my name will, in the course of one day, spend the money on three perfect strangers, in whatever way might brighten their day: paying for lunch at a drive-thru, sending flowers anonymously, handing over a gas card or gift card for a pizza or a twenty-dollar bill. I don't know. The gifts will make themselves known to the giver, and MY gift will be, when we gather at Christmas, to hear the story of those three perfect strangers and what they received and how, in the spirit of giving.

I imagine this could take some work, but no more work than choosing a material gift for me. It's rumored I'm tough to buy for, and I suppose it is, as I don't have an affinity for things, and I wear pretty much the same general outfit all the time, and I am not a jewelry person, and I tend to say "books or chocolate or wooden spoons or Ciara perfume" when the question arises. But what I want this year is that story, and the thought that three lives were lit up, if only for a few moments, in the spirit of the season, of giving gifts without attachment, without expectation, without anything but warmth of heart, and thoughtful attention. It feels a bit selfish, this request. And maybe it is. But it's number one on my short list of two things. The second thing? That's for another day. Thanksgiving is at hand, and I have bars and corn casserole to make.

Just thinking the word "cranberry" makes my mouth water. Combine it with "meatballs" and you've got my attention. These cranberry meatballs will get the party going, but you may have to make something else on the side, in the event that they disappear, and they will.

Cranberry Meatballs

Meatballs:
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 (1 to 2 oz.) pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg

Sauce:
16 oz. catsup
16 oz. water
1 cup brown sugar
1 (16 oz.) can whole cranberry sauce
1 (16 oz.) can sauerkraut, rinsed/drained

Combine all meatball ingredients and form into cocktail-sized balls. Place in a large shallow roasting pan. For sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer 10 minutes. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Keep warm in a covered ovenproof serving dish until serving. You may prepare these ahead of time and serve in a warm crock pot.

Enjoy!

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