A traitor to my 10-year-old self, sometimes I dread December. Sometimes I just feel like the holidays are a long to do list with a very firm deadline. I've learned to look forward to the blessed emptiness of January. A few years ago as my Dec. dread was coming on I decided to write a list of the things I love best about Christmas and focus on those. Last Saturday we had our ward Christmas party--the last activity I was in charge of (something to celebrate in of itself) and I tried to fill it with the things I love about Christmas.
We decorated the table with fresh greens, clementines and candy canes. The whole room smelled of fresh cut pine. We served soups and bread. Then people broke into groups and went caroling in the neighborhood. Like dancing--some people are too shy to carol but those who did had a great time. Afterward everyone met outside the church for cocoa and cookies (another Christmas favorite of mine) and to watch the Primary Christmas pageant. There were quite a few dissenting voices about having the pageant outside. But I thought it was lovely.
It was a comfortable 53 degrees (though some California natives complained about the cold). Actually I felt like the chill made the story feel more real. Standing on dewy grass under the stars, it was easy to imagine how it felt to be a shepherd. Will (standing next to Joseph) was a such a sweet a shepherd. I wish I had the chance to take a closer picture. John (the middle wise man) took his role very seriously. I love those moments when my rambunctious boy is still. Zoe was supposed to be Mary with Malachi (one of her presidential opponents) but it was her best friend's birthday party and she turned down the role of Mary (something she's been anticipating for years) to be with Mia. The pageant ended with us all singing silent night. I'm hoping I can keep some of the peace of that moment in my heart through all of December.