Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Spirit

Norman Vincent Peale said, "I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world."

I felt the Christmas spirit this year as we prepared for and participated in a variety of Christmas activities:  book club party, neighborhood party, ward party, ward Christmas sacrament program, company parties, First Presidency Devotional, reading Christmas books daily, singing and listening to Christmas songs, reflecting on Christ, visiting Temple Square, providing service, driving around to see lights, decorating gingerbread houses, spending time with loved ones.  I've probably forgotten a few.  But certainly all of these things brought joy and happiness to me.  I know that the holidays aren't happy for everyone and I know that many people begin to feel overburdened by all of the things to do and places to go.  I certainly can understand that, but I genuinely love it.  I love all of the aspects of the celebration...except perhaps decorating gingerbread houses. (I do those because my girls really love it.)  And there are aspects of the holidays that I don't participate in such as Elf on the Shelf or singing in the ward choir.  But I love the music, the parties, the service, the thinking of others and the reflecting on blessings as well as the turning of hearts to Christ.

Here are some of the things we did to get in the Christmas spirit.  We made (mini) gingerbread houses:

 We went to Temple Square to see the lights.  This ended up being a bit different than our plans.  My class went in together to buy me a gift card to Old Spaghetti Factory for Christmas.  So our plan was to have dinner there at Trolley Square and then go see the lights.  But I didn't make reservations and when we got there, the wait was an hour and a half.  So we went Rubios instead and then headed to Temple Square.  But Temple Square was so busy that the parking lots at City Creek were full.  So we parked at Gateway, rode the Trax and then walked around Temple Square.  It was beautiful...but so crowded.  But still worth going, in my opinion (maybe not so much in Gabby's...take a look at the expressions she makes in several of the pictures.)

I love seeing the different nativities.  

 On a different night, the girls and I and Gabby's friend Sofie drove around town seeing homes with great light displays.  This house in West Jordan was really cool.  It told you to tune your radio to a specific station and then the lights were flashing in tune to the Christmas music.  Very cool.
 We drove around Christmas Street in Taylorsville.

 We drove around Christmas Street in Sugarhouse...and took a bad photo in front of the Christmas Tree.  We also drove WAY up in the Avenues to see the Reindeer Crossing house there.
It truly is "the most wonderful time of the year!"