Valerie J. Steimle
This past Christmas season has been an interesting one. After all the drama of the breakup with my boyfriend right after Thanksgiving, I didn’t feel like celebrating Christmas at all. I didn’t do any Christmas shopping or Christmas caroling. I didn’t do any decorating or baking until the very last moment when I had to, including the tree. I ignored my Christmas card writing and our traditional neighborhood Christmas cookie deliveries because I was being a Scrooge. I did eventually get my shopping done but it wasn’t fun. I really wasn’t looking forward to Christmas at all. Not to mention the washing machine broke down, one of my sons lost the second set of car keys and I forgot to pay the phone bill. December was not turning out so well.
But there were several activities and events that improved the month as I went. One of those being our stake singles Christmas Dinner and Dance the first weekend of December. I was in charge of the whole thing and I really put my heart into it with decorations, food and music. Maybe that’s why I was so burned out by December 3rd. But the activity was a smashing success and everyone was happy with how it turned out. I was glad I could help others have a good time.
Another highlight of my Christmas celebration was our ward Christmas party. Our whole ward had dinner together in the cultural hall and our activity committee decided to include only adults in the annual Christmas story performance so there were three wise men (one of which was my returned missionary son), and four shepards (two of them being my other two sons all over 6 feet tall). There were six angels (I was one) and a Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. There were several young women helping in the singing and a handful of primary children doing one song. When we got together for practice the Wednesday night before the actual day, it was a disaster. The piano player kept missing his cue, the wise men kept singing faster than the angels and the angels were getting very frustrated and upset. Baby Jesus was getting fussy and the shepards were singing off key. I think on purpose. The narrator had to read his part several times over to make sure everyone knew what they were doing. Poor Sister Benham (our activity director). I don’t think she thought we could pull it off but we did. Even though one of the wise men kept losing his head piece throughout the whole thing, we did beautifully. The Spirit was strong and we all sang Silent Night at the end. It was wonderful.
The biggest highlight of the month was Christmas day itself. Eight of my nine children, one son-in-law and my first grandchild were gathered in my living room talking and laughing. We opened presents, ate food and had a great time. My other child was in Las Vegas on a mission so I got to talk with her later that day.
All in all it was a great day and next year I’ll try to start earlier in my preparations and won’t be such a Scrooge no matter what may be going on. Oh and by the way, the washer got fixed; my son found the car keys and the telephone was turned back on again.
Happy New Year.