Jean Schwieder

Schwieder

This definitely was a different Christmas from any that Boyd or I have ever experienced. Usually we have a group of 25 or more at our home on Christmas Eve to enjoy food, singing, reading of the Bible, and sharing and unwrapping gifts. This year there were five of us here at our home. Our daughter Christine Nims, arranged for us to have a “virtual” meeting via ZOOM on Christmas Eve which many in the family participated in. Our oldest Granddaughter, Stef, read the Bible account of the birth of our Savior. A couple of the families sang and Lindy, a great- granddaughter sang “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.” So we weren’t alone even though we couldn’t touch or hug. We are so blessed to have the ability to communicate with family in this way.

But I struggle in the Christmas preparations every year, trying to get too much done! I have always tried to give as many handmade gifts as possible. This takes time and energy! From about October 1st until December 26th I feel like a kite flying high in the sky. Sometimes the string holding me up is taut and I ride high, bouncing up and down in the breeze, like riding a roller coaster. Other times the line goes slack, and I almost hit the ground as I dip and swirl like clothes on the clothes line when there is just a small breeze. But I’m always feeling the tightness in my stomach as I don’t know for sure how the kite is going to react to the next gust of wind. Some days are stormy with clouds and rain, as I bob up and down, and other days are calm. I never seem to absorb the “calm”. I feel like I never get my feet on the ground until after Christmas! I’m always waiting for another wind to take me flying high!

And as I am flying low or high it seems that I overload myself with ideas of handmade gifts to make and things to do besides the every present things such as meals to fix and a home to keep up and clothes to launder and on and on and on!

As we were putting away the Christmas decorations this week, I looked at them and wondered if I really appreciated this time of the year like I should. I do love Christmas, I love the idea of giving gifts to those I love and giving anonymously to others. I love Christmas music and try to have it playing in our home and on the radio in the car from Thanksgiving on, even though some of my family complain of that quirk of mine. I love the reason we celebrate Christmas and the feeling that seems to fill the air of peace, good will, kindness, giving, and sharing. However, I don’t seem to let those feelings bring my kite down out of the sky.

So for a BIG New Year’s Resolution this year, I resolve to make Christmas 2021 a time to remember the Christ Child, a time to enjoy family and friends, and a time to relax. In order to do that I must:

· Plan ahead if I am going to do any handmade gifts and get them done early.

· Quit trying to do more than I am capable of doing.

· Learn to enjoy the moment and the people around me.

· Look back and learn!

I have a friend, Arlene, who has an antique music stand that she puts her Bible on at Christmas time and has it open to Luke 2, where the story of the birth of Jesus is told. I have always admired that but never tried to implement it in my home because “I don’t have an antique music stand.” What a poor excuse! The Bible can sit on an old chair opened to those pages and still share its message! I hope I can remember this next Christmas!

None of the above are easy things for me to do, but I think I will enjoy the journey of learning how to relax and enjoy if I can utilize these changes in my life! And perhaps I can spend more time with family as I do this. And maybe I won’t have to go on a kite ride another year but be able to stay grounded!

Reach Jean Schwieder at 208-522-8098 or straddlinthefence@gmail.com.