Gift #1045: Christmas Thoughts

Boy I’ve really fallen off the blogging bandwagon.  It’s been a while since I’ve last had time to sit down and think about writing a post.  Days have been filled to capacity with activity since mid-autumn and there’s still a lot going on.  Most of my focus right now is on Christmas preparations because we spend the time with our family in Texas and in not too many days we’ll be on the road.  So everything needs to be finished up soon.  I made the Christmas cards about two weeks ago and just need to address the envelopes and get them out in the mail.

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I’m pleased with them this year.  There was lots of die-cutting on these, but I love these pine boughs and pine cones!  So wintry looking!  In addition to decorating the tree, listening to Christmas carols and drinking hot chocolate, I’ve added on a new tradition this year – making ornaments!  The Art Bead Scene blog hosts an ornament blog hop each December and this year I decided to play along.  Here’s a sneak peak of part of the ornament design.

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I made lots and am using them as gifts this year.  I’ll be doing a separate post on the ornaments tomorrow so stop by again to see the final creation and hear about the design process.  I’m excited to put my jewelry-making skills to use in a slightly different direction.  It was a good challenge.

I also knitted a few gifts this year.  Here’s a picture of a cowl I made from bulky alpaca yarn in a sky blue color.   This was for a Christmas swap with one of my online groups.  I missed the sign-ups, which were way earlier than I thought they’d be and was devastated.  Fortunately, a kind moderator of the group put me in touch with another member who’d missed the dates and we are swapping with each other.  I’m so glad that we had a chance to play along and I made a new friend across the ocean!

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I’m also organizing and hosting an online swap with a different group – another first for me.  This will be in January but I still need to start planning for that one and get my project on the needles.  Speaking of the needles, I am needing to start a new project for a knit-a-long that we have to start by Dec 31st.  I’m still debating on the colors.

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I’ll need to make up my mind and get this started so I can bring it with me on my travels.  One of the things I struggle with in the days leading up to Christmas is finding time for peace and quiet.   I think most of us do.  I get angry that at this time of year when our hearts should be still and focused on the miracle of God’s love for us we are instead bombarded with a million other voices screaming for our attention.  Thoroughly distracted and overwhelmed, the season can steamroll us over and we’re left in January wondering what happened.  It’s always a fight to silence the static of our culture and focus on the true message.  This year instead of getting resentful about my obligations competing with reflection, I’m trying to focus on making them synergistic.  Our activities can be a powerful way to show our love and to sacrifice our own desires in bringing joy to others.  This is indeed the heart of Christmas and the measure of what God did for us.  Seeing my to-do lists in light of love transforms them and causes me to look for the presence of God in the most mundane of tasks.  I’ve been greatly aided in this endeavor by the book I’m currently reading – Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado.  This book is full of encouragement and warmth and reminds the reader that God was willing to enter the mess and muck of a stable and of a world riddled with sin.  He’s perfectly willing to enter the business and messiness of my life and bring His presence and peace to my heart today.  Here’s what I’ve been learning this Christmas – we don’t need to search for the Christmas spirit to make the season bright.  The meaning of Christmas is that God has searched for us.   I hope your weekend is full of Christmas joy.

Blessings to you,

Sarah

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