Twas the Night Before Christmas

And what a wonderful day. Today is one of those mixed days - cleaning and finishing those last minute things, plus starting foods for tomorrow's dinner. But it is also the start of the celebrating. Dinner at our house with J's family, followed by the children sharing their talents as they act out parts in the Nativity story while the adults narrate and sing a few hymns. And finally, the thing we've planned for all year - the White Elephant gift exchange.

I don't really know how this got started, but it is a riot. There are gifts that keep on giving (like the Simpson boxer's that J's mom brought as her gift to the last Christmas Eve she was alive for - now the recipient takes a picture of themselves wearing the boxers and includes it in the package), presents for the children (or child at heart), and packages with bribery so that someone will want to keep it (usually a gift card of some sort). This year was actually pretty tame as White Elephant gift exchanges go. Not a lot of swapping back and forth until the end and not as many knock your socks off, can't quit laughing because the gift is so hilarious as we've seen in the past, but still a fun time was had by all. At some point I'll take a picture of the fine gift I ended up with. I'm sure it will be used in a future exchange :)

After the festivities wrap up and we put the house back to semi-normal, we each head to bed (after taking our turn as "Santa" and filling each other's socks. At this point, the house is quiet and peaceful and I use this time to turn my thoughts to Christ's birth. Most years I read the account in Luke 2 from the Bible. This year I changed it up a bit and watched several videos I found on the LDS church's Christmas web site (christmas.lds.org). The videos were wonderful reminders of the true reason for the season. Some included music and other's were simply testimonies shared by various people regarding the role Christ plays in their lives. It was a beautiful and touching experience to watch and listen to the words and music in the peaceful comfort of my bedroom.

I am so grateful for Christ's willingness to come to earth and for his later sacrifice of his life. I am especially thankful for the chance we have each year to worship his birth. I am also grateful for the fun times we have celebrating the season with family and friends and am truly blessed. My holiday season is filled with so many traditions, love, and joy.

Merry Christmas!

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My posts are random. They cover a variety of subjects, but are mostly about things I enjoy, am inspired by, or catch my attention at that moment. I don't ever want to offend anyone by anything I write. This blog is a way to express myself and the interests I have. I hope you enjoy what I share.

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