Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010: A Few Thoughts and Several Photos


You know, the season of Christmas time really is amazing. Sometimes it has its poignant moments as we reflect on the past with loved ones who are no longer with us. Or perhaps we have moments when we remember that there could be a few more presents to place under the tree, if only the child/children were still here... Those times would be so much more painful if there was no CHRISTmas. He is who makes all Joy and brings all Peace to our bruised hearts. I know this with my whole soul.

How grateful I am to have a time set aside when we are allowed to truly focus on HIM. Life gets in the way. It is hard to celebrate our Saviors life and love on a day in and day out basis. We can honor Him daily by obeying Him and loving each other. But Christmas is a time of Celebration! Oh how grateful I am for it! One of the best ways for me to feel the Christmas spirit is to read stories written about Christmas. Some of my favorites are written by Richard Paul Evens (too many to name.) Then there is the classic Christmas Jars series by Jason Wright. And this year I finally picked up THE classic... A Christmas Carol. It has been so fun to read it as we have watched several versions of the movie inspired by the book. This year we read a different Christmas story every night to the kids. We all loved reading a new story together and feeling the sweet Christmas spirit. I especially enjoyed learning about how the story of Rudolph came about (a father's story to his little girl who's mother was different because she was sick.)

It is easy to become weary by all of the "traditions" of Christmas. The feeling or the expectation that we must not only put lights on our Christmas tree, but on the roof of our house - the trees - the fence -and the dog house as well. Everyone on our street is expecting a plate of goodies from us for sure! Don't forget the Toys for Tots, Sub for Santa, and the 12 Days of Christmas. Then you have the cheesy potatoes for the ward party, the yams for the work party, caroling with the Relief Society, and sugar cookies and singing at the rest home with the primary. And DON'T FORGET you still haven't made aunt marge her promised photo album of this years Family Reunion. Does any of this sound familiar?

We must find a balance! And in the end, we have to do whatever we have to do to keep the CHRISTmas spirit in our home. If that means only going to one party and staying home together instead of going to all of them, then you do that. This year Leif and I decided that we had to stay home instead of traveling north to visit my family. It was a very hard decision. But it has been a good one. It would have added way too much stress and taken away from the reason we were going out in the first place. Instead we have stayed home ad rested and tried to celebrate Christmas the best way we can. It's been great!

Here are a few highlights and several photos:

The town Christmas light parade
The Ward party
Dallen Jensen's birthday party
Grandma Baron's photo album (seeing grandpa Baron quietly cry loving tears at her excitement and appreciation.)
Grandma Baron's Dyson vacuum from her kids
Mark Baron family Christmas party (lighting each other's candle and telling what we will give Christ this year. Singing Christmas Carols together.)
Country Women's Christmas Candy Party
12 days of Christmas family nights
Egg nog
and Giving!

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