And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 ESV
Yes Mary and Joseph faced immediate persecution and exile not long after the birth of Jesus, but God saw to it that for at least one night something beautiful would fill their home. Have you ever stopped to think that the wise men were not known by name but by the gifts they brought? In fact it is their gifts that set the stage for our gift giving at Christmas today. Those gifts meant that their long journey was filled with the risk of attack and the loss of what may have cost them their life’s savings. But all the worry and difficulty were forgotten in the moment when they opened their treasures and worshiped.
When I think of the wise men’s gifts I am reminded of my wife’s gifts of home made candy which she has been baking and sending off to family and friends over the last forty years. The candy factory opens here in the Caligiuri household just after the Thanksgiving left overs are put into the refrigerator. Our dining room table becomes a work surface. Christmas tins, bags of chocolate chips and sliced almonds fill our kitchen along with the wonderful aroma of butterscotch. In much the same way as the wise men Nancy gives the best she has each year for people, some of whom rarely step into a church. For those have little thought of worship her message carried by the sweetness of butter crunch has left an indelible memory of the love of Jesus Christ on their hearts.
Here is her Christmas recipe. You will just have to add your own love for it to taste as good as hers!
Nancy’s Almond Butter Crunch
- 1 ½ cups slivered almonds (chopped)
- 2 sticks Margarine or butter
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 1 – 8 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions: Toast almonds on cookie sheet for 10 minutes at 375°. In medium saucepan combine butter (or margarine) sugar, syrup, and water. Stirring constantly over a medium heat bring to 300° (hard-crack). Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the chopped toasted almonds and pour into a greased 15” x 10” x 1 ½ ” pan (cookie sheet).Spread quickly and evenly then immediately cover with chocolate chips and spread as the chocolate melts with the back of a stirring spoon. Top chocolate with the remaining ½ cup of toasted almonds while it is still hot then set aside to cool. Once pan is cool place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours then candy can be broken into small pieces (Enjoy!)