A memorable Christmas

Every year Christmas seems to get better and better and this year was no different at the Schultz residence.

As many of our regular readers know, Christmas is especially vibrant when children are involved and that’s one of the reasons we will long cherish this day.

This year we had 22 people for dinner and that included our son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, ages 5 and 3, from Kaukauna. In addition we had our sister-in-law and two of her adult children from Illinois, and special guests our sister-in-law’s daughter and family from Todos Santos, Mexico, on the tip of Baja California, just 60 miles north of the famous Cabo San Lucas resort area. They have four young children and rarely get back to Watertown, but did make it this Christmas.

That was the setting as we all convened for some Christmas conversation, pre-dinner snacks, which were definitely not needed, and then a full dinner. Some gifts were also distributed before and after the dinner.

There’s no question the younger children make Christmas special. They have that outpouring of love, and they quickly became friends as they played both inside and outside the house on this beautiful day. Imagine, we celebrated Christmas in 50+ degree weather in 2019.

As we looked around the dining table, it was clear that not just our family but our entire country is so blessed with more food than we can eat, with friends and family that have special meaning especially on Christmas Day, and in our surroundings here in Watertown where everyone can feel safe, where outdoor play on a balmy day need not be accompanied by an adult with every small child.

Indeed, we have much to be thankful for and what better time to recognize that than on the day of the birth of Christ.

We did acknowledge at a traditional dinner prayer prior to the meal that two family members are dealing with difficult health problems that cropped up in recent months. Both of them are suffering from a form of brain cancer and are receiving treatment. Those serious health issues underscored how fragile life is and how we have to trust that the skilled medical staff, with the Lord’s hand guiding them, will make them better. Our thoughts and prayers went from all of us to them and their families.

After dinner we hooked up the television so our group of 22 people could visit awhile on the TV screen with our son, daughter-in-law and their three boys, the newest of which is only 3 months old.

That little visit on Christmas Day for the family that was unable to make the trek to Watertown for Christmas was a high point for everyone.

Surprising, another high point was how much these little kids liked my mom and dad, now in their 95th year. They were fascinated by great-grandpa’s cane which he uses to help him get around. They thought that was pretty special and, of course, he used it to play with the kids while sitting in his favorite chair!

By the time the children’s gifts were opened, our living room looked more like a toy emporium than a residential living room, but adults and children alike enjoyed the day immensely.

Much of Thursday was spent on cleanup duty, but the old saying “many hands make light the work” certainly was true. Everyone pitched in and we were pretty much back to normal by mid-day on Thursday.

As an aside, our church has two traditional services on Christmas Day where the Christmas message is the focal point. Between our services we have a band playing Christmas music for about a half hour or so as people left the early service or arrived for the later service.

All in all there were about 17 adults performing in the band. Our church is not unique in having that many instrumentalists, but it did serve as a reminder as to how many musically talented people we have here in Watertown and how they put those talents to good use in many ways.

Here it was Christmas Day and we were seeing and hearing Christmas music being performed as we left church. It doesn’t get better than that.

And, so another Christmas is now a warm memory. But, keep this special day in your heart not only today but throughout the year.

Happy New Year

With the Christmas now a memory, we want to wish all of our readers a special New Year, which is just a few days away.

Next Wednesday we will ring in not only a new year but also a new decade — the decade of the ‘20s.

How will you celebrate the New Year? We will be dining with some friends earlier in the evening and then maybe make a stop or two before getting into the cozy confines of our home. It’s almost a guarantee that we’ll be watching the ball drop in New York City’s Times Square at the strike of 11 p.m. in Watertown. For us, it will be more interesting than normal because we visited Times Square just a few months ago and it will surely bring back memories.

We wish all of our readers a very special New Year, one filled with brightness and happiness!

And, remember, the best is yet to come.

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