Today I am excited to share with you a recipe that appeared in my first book , and one that I get asked for every time I make it. This delicious pumpkin pie dip, with flavors of pumpkin pie, cream cheese, and fall spices, makes a wonderfully different addition to any party or get together. You know what is really great about it though? It’s easy as pie to throw together AND can be made a day or two ahead of time so you aren’t trying to clean up the mess as company arrives. I just love food like that
Before we get into the recipe, though, I read a column on Al.com that just touched my heart right to my very soul and it got me to thinking about how, with a little planning, we can give even more generously to others.
Before I go talking about giving, I realize that some people get offended at the suggestion that we help others. I see this from time to time on my site and my Facebook page when I mention it. Still others treat it as some sort of competition between who is the better person – one who gives locally or one who gives nationally and internationally. I have always felt that God puts certain things on each person’s heart and it is up to us to follow His prompting, without judging how others are prompted.
Besides, giving doesn’t have to mean from our purse. We can give of ourselves: Our time, Our kindness, Our consideration. There are so many things we can do to give to others and truly, in the end, we are the ones who reap the biggest gifts from it.
One Christmas, I remember Mama and Daddy having tension behind their smiles. Mama would stay up late sewing and making crafts to give as gifts and Daddy worked so many extra security shifts that we hardly saw him (he was a police officer and you could pick up extra work as security for businesses when off duty).
That Christmas, though, we went to the mall and picked an angel off of the Salvation Army Angel tree.
I was old enough at that point to realize that things were not easy for my parents, but they made it a fun family event to shop for our angel. Each of us got to pick something out and Mama and Daddy rounded it all out with a few clothing items, and smaller toys Mama had found on sale. I’ll never forget how excited we were to return our presents to the Angel Tree, it was a whole new kind of Christmas magic to us. Later on that evening, when it was just me and Mama in the kitchen she said “Christy, you need to always remember, whenever things are tight, you need to find some way to help someone else, some way to give to someone who is worse off than you.”
There was a lot less tension behind their smiles after that, and we had a beautiful Christmas.
We’re all a little worried this year, stretched thinner than usual and our burdens are a bit heavier – in some cases drastically so. Sometimes all of this just bears down on us and with our focus constantly on it, the weight can feel unbearable. That’s when we need to give ourselves a break – step out from beneath it all, even if just for a little bit, and find a way to lift up someone who is worse off than we are.
If you need a little inspiration on how to give this year, food banks are always in need and I’m excited to partner with several of them in cities I’m traveling to on my book tour. Just picking up a few cans of soup that are on sale on your next grocery trip (even if it is just one can) and dropping them into the donation box can make a huge difference – it will give someone a meal they would not have had otherwise.
We’ve also given to Toys for Tots, the Angel Tree, and Operation Christmas Child – who has their national shoebox collection next week (click here to watch a video of a trip I took delivering shoeboxes).
These are just some of the things I’ve done but don’t feel you have to make a big gesture if it is something you’re not capable of or led to do. Helping a neighbor do yard work, taking coats your children have outgrown to your school’s guidance counselor to give to a child who doesn’t have one, or even visiting someone who lives alone and just taking the time to talk with them. There are endless opportunities to take some of the blessings we have been given and use them to bless others.
We can never fully know the road someone is on. But I will tell you that Mama’s wisdom has proven itself to be true time and again. Giving to others opens our eyes to our true wealth.
Now lets make us a dip.
You’ll need: Cinnamon, Canned Pumpkin, Cream Cheese, Ginger, and Powdered Sugar (sometimes called Confectioner’s Sugar).
Place softened cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar in a bowl.
Beat until smooth and creamy.
Add all other ingredients.
Beat it all up again :)
Place this in a sealed container and refrigerate for several hours or until cold.
Serve with gingerbread cookies, ginger snaps, graham cracker sticks, or apple slices for dipping.
Be sure and send for your free signed book plate for your copy and all of the ones you give as gifts!