I'm finding it hard to get into the Christmas spirit this year. As fast as the past year went, it just doesn't seem like it is Christmas time again. I suspect it is partly because I'm too conditioned to having much more cold weather and snow leading up to the Christmas season, and this year we just haven't had it. And I suspect it is partly because of the volume of negative news to which we have been treated throughout the year. Its been a tough year for a lot of people.
Apparently it has always been like that. Looking back at conditions when Christmas originated, things certainly weren't any better.
The Christmas program at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hayfield this morning was a real season brightener. The church was packed with people all come to witness the youth performing and give them recognition for their performances. The pews were filled, as were additional chairs set up to accommodate overflow, and there were still people who had to stand through the service. After the service, there was so much noise of conversation that it was hard to take part in one.
Another Christmas treat was the price of gasoline this weekend. We had to drive to Eau Claire on Saturday and made the trip on gas that cost only $2.949 a gallon! Fortunately we didn't have to buy any in Wisconsin as it was 30¢ more there, although even that isn't all that bad.
There was a lot more snow in Eau Claire than we have here. Drive off the main streets was tough as they had not been cleared and were rutted packed snow, the kind of stuff that is like driving on closely spaced speed bumps. We got directed off the main streets because of a parade, so we had an opportunity to see unfamiliar areas of the city but missed out on the parade.
Someone dropped off a copy of an old newspaper from Lime Springs, Iowa over the weekend. It is from the first week in April, 2004, which I guess isn't all that old except when you're talking about news. Initially, I didn't notice the date and went through the paper looking for something referencing someone or something with which I was familiar. Then I took a closer look at the front page and realized it was an April Fool's issue. It's a hoot! I got a few laughs and a couple of ideas, so I want to thank whoever dropped it off.
My Christmas spirit problems will be solved Christmas Eve. If everyone makes it, we'll top 40 this year and next year will be even better as there are four great grandchildren and one grandchild on the way. It's impossible to avoid the Christmas spirit with a houseful of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
I pray that all of you will have a spirit-filled Christmas as well.