Some of The Highlights of Christmas For Me This year have been:
--Singing with 'Friends And Neighbors' Christmas Group. This was my first year doing so and my job was accompanist. We performed for several RS dinners, some care centers, a private party and our Fireside. I heard them the previous year sing for our Relief Society Dinner and I thought they were wonderful and how unselfish they were to donate their time during this busy season. It turned out to be a real blessing for me. We were able to perform for my friend Viktoriya, who had suffered a traumatic head injury in April of '09 and who now lives in a care center in Murray. I know it brightened her existence. I loved performing for the Relief Societies. I felt like a Relief Society Dinner Crasher when we went to those because we always got fed and it was always so delicious.
--Making goodies and delivering them to several friends around the neighborhood. We didn't do as much this year as last year, but Greg and I always have fun doing this together each year. I'm so lucky that he likes to participate in this tradition. I made 2 of my favorites and Greg made 2 of his. People usually like Greg's because he experiments and does really gourmet things like peanut butter candy, Merry Cranberry Cookies, cheescake cookies,etc. Mine are more traditional favs like miniature banana muffins and good 'ol Oatmeal Choco chip cookies. Maybe next year I'll make my Grandmother's roll-out sugar cookies, a recipe from the early 1900's.
--Setting up and enjoying our Christmas Village. Each year we get a couple new pieces to add and it is fun to look at it throughout the Christmas holiday.
--Getting together with my family, whom I love more and more as the years go by. Families are just wonderful. They just assume you will spend time with them on special holidays. There was a time when I couldn't spend so many holidays or times with them. I lived all the way across the country with small children and it was many times just too difficult to come to them or them to me. So I'm grateful for this blessing in my life now. I have pictured here my sister, Laura, and our niece, Riley Bresock
--I enjoyed looking at the many lights and decorations that people put up in honor of the season. Since we haven't done much to the outside of our home, except to put up a few token lights around the door and our funny little snowman, I enjoy and appreciate the time others put in to gladden my heart and please my eye, reminding me constantly that this is a special time of year.
--My sons aren't here this year for Christmas. I spent last Christmas with them and it was so great. But Eddie and Joseph will be in Orlando this year at Disney World. I am trying not to be jealous, failing a little bit, but was so glad that Eddie thought of me before he left. He took me out to lunch and we had a great time. He's such a great son and I appreciate him so much.
--The address/talk that touched me the most this year was one by Didier F. Uchdorf at the Annual Christmas Fireside. It made so much sense to me! But there were so many other Christmas messages that touched my heart and brought renewed love for the Savior and a determination to be a little better throughout the coming year.
--Making little Christmas ornaments with my sister-in-law, Alicia. She is the most creative person I know and so I glommed onto her this Christmas as we made some cute little crafts for people we love.
--As I made my last Grocery Stop before the family Christmas get together, there was the cutest little boy, no more than 5 years old, recruited to play all the Christmas songs in his beginner Christmas piano book, sitting at a piano right at the entrance of Macey's in Sandy. It was so adorable. He was oblivious to anything but his assignment of plowing through those Christmas songs and he was trying to do it lickity split. Who knows what kind of reward his mother had promised him at the end of his mission. But he played with gusto and enthusiasm, his little fingers barely reaching the full chords he needed to play. My heart just melted, as I know what a task it might have been to get him to do this in the first place. I know that once I persuaded Eddie to play in a recital in his younger years and it was so adorable. But I was not able to do it again!
--I loved being able to Tivo some select Christmas programs and watch them at my leisure throughout the holiday. The music during Christmas is like no other time and it was just such a pleasure to listen and watch.
--One day during this season, Greg left me a cute and welcome surprise at my desk:
--I watched my Dad in Sandy, Utah get showered by friends and neighbors all the way through Christmas with treats, presents and good deeds. Since I stay there two or three days in the week, it was really fun to see what was left at the door each day. Wow! He got the 12 days of Christmas by an annonymous family. From friends and neighbors, plates of goodies came in regularly. I couldn't wait to see what the new day would bring. Neighbors on both sides of him shoveled his walks when it snowed and just asked him if there was anything they could do. If this isn't the spirit of Christmas, I don't know what it would be.
There were many other things that just brought a smile to my face during this wonderful time of year. I am grateful I was able to stop for a few moments and just take in the simple joys and pleasure of the Christmas Season. I hope you were able to do the same!