In this rough world, don?t forget the good

I find myself having some trouble getting into the Christmas mood this year. Somehow it just seems wrong to sing ?White Christmas? or ?Let It Snow? ?or most Christmas songs, for that matter?when you?re walking around in short sleeves and soaking up sunlight.

As a kid, it always seemed that Christmas was the bright snowy time that one looked forward to while enduring what seemed like endless grey, dreary days. Back then, a white Christ?mas always seemed magically possible.

The kids have been making their Christmas lists since July. As a matter of fact, when I was a young whippersnapper, I seem to remember doing the same thing, with the same results. My family often asked me why I didn?t just write down what I didn?t want, since that would be a much shorter list.

I also seem to recall thinking that my invincible parents must be made of money, and that all of my wishes would surely come true.

As I got older, I learned they weren?t independently wealthy and that money didn?t grow on trees. Still, Christmas held the tangible possibility that you might, just might, get that one thing you really wanted. And if you didn?t, it would still be OK, because there was always the church program?and you got an orange and a Hershey bar afterward?and Grandma?s house for chili.

As a parent, I can now fully sympathize with what I must have put my parents through with the endless lists and impossible demands. Every time I sigh inwardly at the kids adding yet another high-dollar item to their already massive lists, I know just how Mom and Dad must have felt.

And let?s face it. I can knit some pretty cool stuff, but when your classmates all get gadgets, those hats and mittens can feel like a letdown until you?re old enough to count the memories.

So, when my dearest daughter told me the thing she wanted most was a white Christmas, I swung into action. In the midst of a 70 degree sunny day, I implemented Mom Made Climate Change.

I blame Pinterest for showing me how to use fabric paint to make window clings. It just so happened that I had some white sparkly paint just perfect for snow. I lined my cookie sheet with cling wrap because I didn?t have parchment paper. I grabbed the paint and started doodling. Eventually, I filled up the whole sheet, then waited for what seemed like forever for them to dry. Several were ruined because I got impatient.

Finally, I peeled one off, and wonder of wonders, it stuck to the window. There was no stopping me now! Except for the fact that I ran out of paint and had to go back for more.

Hubby even talked me into trying a few in glow-in-the-dark paint. Back at home, I downloaded ever more complicated templates and made a whole blizzard for the window. Note to self: the really fancy ones would probably have worked if I had parchment paper.

Then it was time to decorate the tree. We?ve been kicking around ideas for a month or so, but since I don?t want to do a chicken or a Dalek again, we hadn?t agreed on anything. It just so happened that I had some leftover cupcake liners left over from a church craft project…the perfect thing to cut out snowflakes.

The kids set to with scissors and glitter glue. Even Scott and I got into the simple fun of cutting out snowflakes and unfolding them just to see what our designs would be. Of course, I had to go back and get a few more sizes of liners because I was?er, the KIDS were?having so much fun cutting them out. Even the clippings that flew everywhere looked a little bit like snow if you squinted real hard.

This will probably be the week we finalize the shopping, and I can get started with the holiday baking in earnest. Pinterest will probably be blamed several more times between now and New Year. I?ve come to realize that I?m not going to get everything knitted in time for Christmas that I want to, and that?s OK.

Christmas Day will usher in the First Annual Dennis Schmidt Memorial Verenike Dinner, and we?ll celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior with friends and family just as it should be. Maybe I?m more festive than I thought.

It?s a rough world out there, and it?s been a tough year. Don?t forget to count your blessings and tell your dear ones that you love them. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Shana Thornhill lives on farm near Marion. She can be reached at