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Sunday, December 18, 2016


The snow falls softly
Through the dawn
While we keep 
Our covers on.

We look outside
When we awake
Sipping steaming tea.
All is quiet when
At dawn it snows 
Let this peace
Please stay with me.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do?
Let me tell you this, my friend: I feel that way too.
Maybe we should take a breath and clear our busy minds,
Remembering that those we love want with us to spend time.
Gifts and cookies are very nice as well as decorations,
But just being happy with each other is a stunning revelation.

The Christmas season is supposed to be one of peace. Yet how many of us actually feel peaceful? I'm struggling just as much as anybody with that concept. We seem to have created a season of stress and chaos instead of joy and peace. There are expectations we put on ourselves and others that cause us to feel overwhelmed and inadequate. It seems as if this has become a time when over abundance is what we strive for. If you buy into what the media, both mainstream and social, tell us, sugar cookies with colored sugar on them and a nice meal of perhaps roasted turkey and vegetables isn't good enough. No! Your cookies must be elaborate works of art, that turkey dinner needs ten fancy side dishes with it. Your Christmas tree must be color schemed and the gifts underneath it need fancy bows and rhinestones! Ummm, how does all this lavishness relate to Christ? He had the humblest of beginnings, and as far as I can tell from my limited time spent in bible study groups lived a humble life trying to spread the message of love and peace. Yet here I sit early on Christmas Eve morning in the soft glow of my Christmas tree thinking of everything I "must" do today to be ready for tomorrow. There is no quieting the voice in my head telling me to get moving and get it all done. I think many of us struggle with this every day of the year--the feeling that we need to do and have more--and during this season even more so. Yet when I look back on the past, I don't remember the food, or how the cookies looked, or the bows on the gifts. I remember the feelings of being loved, and having enough, and the inner peace that comes from that.  As I sit here by my tree which is decorated with a mixture of decorations both hand-made by us over our lives and store bought (some that were my mother's and graced my childhood trees, others were gifts), I wish for you a peaceful, loving Christmas. May you also have enough.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Frenzy

Frenzied days and sleepless nights

We all twirl round and round

Rushing through our daily tasks

Feet pounding on the ground.

We try to fit in all the fun

Alongside all our work.      

We rush and go without a break

Risking our common sense and peace,

Take the time to sip some tea

And savor some cookies or cake.

Christmas comes then Christmas goes

Do we enjoy it while it’s here?

Or before it’s over do we start to plan

Everything we will do for next year?

         I feel like the time goes so fast between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.  As if somehow time speeds up, and the hours have fewer minutes in them.  With all the things I want to do to make things special for those I care about in addition to all the regular tasks I do every day, I can barely find time for relaxing, reading, writing, watching a movie, or playing a game.  This year I find myself needing to choose between things that are on the same day and I can’t possibly do both.  I want to do them all but of course I can’t be in two places at once.  I am sorry I have to miss any of them!  I also find that I am so tired that I must turn down invitations because I just can’t have an event to attend every single day or evening.  Such is the quandary of the person with a life full of family and friends.  How lucky I am to have to choose between things to do, even if I feel extra stressed by making that decision.  I can’t imagine if I had no invitations, no concerts to attend, no friends to hug, and no family to care for. I don’t think that situation would be stress free, I think I would feel empty and on edge trying to fill up my time.  I hope I never find out how that would feel; I hope I always have people around me to have fun with, and care about.  The people in my life are the reason for merriment, cookie baking, gift buying, and decorating; to share with others is my favorite thing about Christmas.