Jean Schwieder

Schwieder

Our daughter, Christine, put together a ZOOM meeting for our family at Thanksgiving time. It was a good thing to do as we had to cut down the amount of people who came to our home for Thanksgiving. This gave us the chance to visit and see them.

Then getting ready for Christmas became a major goal in all of our homes. What, where, why, when and how should we buy gifts and ship them to those who live far away. But things were accomplished and gifts were sent and arrived.

Christmas is finally here. It seems to have taken a different path in getting here this year with all the restrictions we have, but it finally made it. And my hope is that everyone is having a wonderful time with family close and far away. It is difficult to celebrate without all of our family home, but we do have the blessing of communication that helps us keep in touch.

Now I’m looking around the Christmas tree at opened gifts, torn wrapping paper, boxes tossed aside, and bows and ribbons laying around. Do we really appreciate the things we received or the effort others made to purchase something we would really like? What a wonderful time for giving and for remembering the birth of our Savior. What a wonderful gift He has given all of us in his crucifixion and resurrection.

Have we given Him the time and thoughts as we celebrate His birthday? Do we rejoice in His teachings and share them with our families? Or do we get so caught up in the commercialization of the season that Christ is completely forgotten? Have we remembered those who don’t have as much as we do? Do we need to make some changes in our lives and the way we celebrate Christmas?

You remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Goldilocks would try the porridge and it was either “too hot,” “too cold” or “just right.” The chair and bed were “too hard,” “too soft” or “just right.”

A friend recently shared the word “Lagom” with me. I checked on Google and found out that Lagom is a Swedish and Norwegian word meaning “just the right amount” The Swedish proverb “Lagom är bäst” literally means, “The right amount is best.” It can also be translated as: “Enough is as good as a feast,” or, “There is virtue in moderation.”

We have been encouraged through our church to consider three lines of thinking as we solve problems in our lives. Is something good, better or best? (This is similar to “too hard,” “too soft” and “just right.”)

Maybe we should take that into consideration and try to live that way in our lives. Look around you and see what you have too much of, not enough of, and just the right amount of.

As we look around our homes today, Christmas day, and see the gifts, the torn wrapping paper, the large amounts of food and the excess that seems to plague a lot of our lives, perhaps we should reread Goldilocks’ experience with the three bears or just consider the word “Lagom.” Are our closets bulging with clothes that we don’t wear while others don’t have enough clothes? Are our chest of drawers full of clothes we don’t use? Maybe now is a good time to downsize, take our excess to thrift stores where they will be used by those who need them.

This is the time of the year when we start thinking of New Year’s resolutions. I need to start cleaning out boxes of “stuff” and decided what to keep and what to throw away. The word “Lagom” would be a good one to post in my office to remind me of its meaning. And also I should post the words: “Good, better or best” to help me decide what to keep.

I know that my life would be less stressful if I would eliminate some of the piles of “stuff” that piles up waiting for me to go through. While there are still restrictions on where we can and can’t go perhaps I can take the time to have some “Lagom” days and even encourage my family to watch for “Good, better or best.”

Merry Christmas everyone and let’s use positivity in looking forward!

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