While spending time with my family on the biggest feasting day of the year, Thanksgiving, I had an epiphany. I realized that even though my mother lived in San Clemente, and I at the time lived in Vista, we only saw each other a handful of times in the year. This would make sense for family members who I visited out of state, but for someone who is an hour away, that was just silly.

This was a problem that needed changing. So two years ago on that day, I made a commitment to myself to spend at least one day of “intentional time” with my mother every month. At first it was her and I finding fun and random things to do. I dragged her to art shows and museums, while she dragged me to the Fashion District in LA for a shopping trip.

As the months transpired, my sister-in-law started joining us on our adventures. Now that my sister has moved to San Clemente from Oregon, she joins us as well. To top it all off, my brother for the first time, came with us last weekend to see Phantom of the Opera! Needless to say, this “intentional time” has become a “thing”!

Doing extravagant events is really fun, but some of the best “intentional times” we’ve shared has simply been spending time together. A few months ago, the “intentional time” for the month was on behalf of my brother who was deployed in Jordan. We baked him a huge care package full of his favorite goodies. It was the best day being together, chatting the day away, and taste-testing all the treats!

There is something really special and comforting about being together in the kitchen and cooking. Cooking with other people has a way of breaking down barriers and presenting opportunities to just be yourself. We find our own way of experimenting with food to bring it to life, and wait together in great anticipation of how it will turn out!

The assembly of St. Michael’s Famous Fruitcakes presents an opportunity to enjoy “intentional time” with fellow St. Michael’s parishioners! Each fruitcake preparation session — whether chopping, baking, dipping or wrapping — is a great way to get in the kitchen!  Be a part of this age-old tradition at St. Michael’s, while delighting in the company others. Sign up for a shift or the whole day!

This article was written by Megan Stanton, Communications Coordinator.