It’s that time of the year, and it is wonderful. The air is thick with cheer and a little extra kindness. I talked about our Christmas planning, and it is paying off big time. All the gifts are wrapped, the cards are sent, and now there’s no more spending to be done — it’s time to soak in the Christmas spirit and spread some joy around us. I’ve been so grateful for opportunities to serve with others, it has brought me right where I need to be focused these days.
Last week we had a Christmas date to the Wyoming Symphony, and the trumpeter who soloed was world-class (former Canadian Brass). It was SO much fun, he and the conductor are old buddies so they horsed around a lot and thoroughly entertained the audience.
Saturday, we got a group together to go caroling downtown, and it was great! We stopped in front of the library and various businesses, singing a song or two at every stop.
It was lightly snowing but store owners would come out to listen a bit and some passers-by stopped or smiled on their way past. It was wonderful (although keeping a wiggly toddler happy was an adventure ha ha!). It wasn’t too cold and the happy spirit we carried kept us warm! We are definitely making this an annual tradition, so join us next year! (also, next time I want to up the ante and bring a donation basket to collect money for a local charity)
Then Sunday night was more music, with Andrew playing violin in the local performance of Handel’s Messiah! It was a mix of professional, semi-professional and amateurs, but it was absolutely lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Our friend (right behind Andrew) was one of the soloists and she was incredible. We witnessed some serious talent in our little western town!
Even Adelina was really good, especially considering it was well past bedtime… I’m very grateful for the Badgers who sat next to us and helped entertain her, Adelina loved them!
And I’ve finally put the finishing touches on our Christmas tree, although the bottom half is just going to have to stay bare because we have a saboteuse…. ha. I love these ornaments, many of them are tied in with the last few years as our family grows.
My sweet ornament exchange ball. Cool right? And below is a cow bell Andrew brought back from his mission in Switzerland.
Love that western star of ours 🙂 it’s been nice to mix cultures and pick up a little bit of everything that makes our family us. And I love the decorating. For gift wrapping this year, I’m doing brown paper and washi tape, I love the simplicity and that tape sure is fun! (anybody else just start humming the favorite things song from Sound of Music in their head?)
On the topic of traditions, I’ve started our Christmas books collection. One of the Power of Moms founders does this (as well as a favorite blogger who happens to be her sister!) and I love the idea: she has a pile of books collected over the years that she brings out during December and they read them at night with the kids. As they grow older, it can be chapter books that they read a bit of every night, etc. I absolutely love embracing reading and Christmas together, so here we go! (To be fair, we haven’t done much reading with her — these days her patience is limited ha ha. But we’ll get there!)
And we’re still reading through our advent calendar scripture study. It has really brought a nice spirit into our home — I love that it jumps between the old testament prophecies, new testament nativity story and Book of Mormon prophecies and events, because it’s so beautifully interwove and testifies of just how much the old world and new world were connected. The Lord was speaking to his people everywhere, and the whole earth was living through that special time.
(I’ll also add: the scriptures to read are very short, it is very doable for families of all ages. We often end up talking about the verse of the day for a little while after too, and pondering just those few words.)
What a beautiful season. It’s always a good reminder to sit back and enjoy the time with my family, and of course to remember the reason for all these celebrations. Especially on a blizzard day like today, it’s time to take the slow route.
(Yes, that’s a mega snow drift, and it’s still blowing outside with no signs of stopping!)
This video is one of my all-time favorites — the lyrics prompt us to ask ourselves how we will apply Christ’s spirit to the world around us, and it is a beautiful story they tell.
“What shall we give to the Babe in the manger, what shall we offer the child in the stall? Incense and spices and gold we’ve got plenty, are these the gifts for the King of us all?
“What shall we give to the boy in the temple, what shall we offer the Man by the sea? Palms at his feet and hosannas uprising, are gifts for Him who will carry the Tree.
“What shall we give to the Lamb who was offered, rising the third day and shedding His love? Tears for his mercy we’ll weep at the manger, bathing the infant come down from above.”