Saturday, December 22, 2012

Reflections at Christmas Time...

I read a blog post recently in which A Middle Aged Mormon Man reflected upon the old Christmas movies played in the 60's and 70's. He wrote of the anticipation he and his siblings had as they ran to the daily paper each day, looking for the magic of the season to come alive through THE Christmas shows. What did he say they were? Ah yes, he called them "The Big Five..."

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

Frosty the Snowman!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

M.A.M.M. reminded his readers of a few things: It was a big deal back then to watch these shows. When the time came it wasn't just one or two family members watching it here, and another two there... The whole family watched them TOGETHER, because there were no DVD's or VCR's and "you only got one shot!" If you missed the ONE showing, you would have to wait until next year! And he emphasized the point in his title, "You've Got One Shot, Charlie Brown!"

At first when I read that post I reflected on how technology has made it so easy to watch movies and shows that sometimes half the family watches something in one room while the other half watches it in the other. "Family time" really is harder to come by these days...

But a couple nights ago something wonderful happened. And now, the post I read that day reminds me of a something else...

My family and I watched Once Upon a Time together. It almost came on while Mindy and Miles were both at work, then Dausen reminded us that they weren't home yet, so we should wait so they can see it with us. We waited. Once everyone was home and we were all together we watched several episodes (first night of school break - party night!). I fell asleep during the final episode so missed a bunch of it.

The next day I decided to watch the one I missed. When it was over, Dausen reminded me that I might want to turn it off or rewind it for Levi to see what he missed when he fell asleep - that way we could wait again for everyone to be home and all continue watching it where we left off together.

I just realized - I was taking for granted that my family was not taking something for granted (I hope you're not confused...) 

When I read that post, I didn't even realize that my family DOES have a show that we watch, ALL watch together - even though we watch it from the internet - even though we are all behind the production of the show and could watch multiple shows per night and still have more waiting for us - even though we don't have a specific night or time that we watch it - even though we  have never discussed this with each other and made the formal decision to not watch the show without anyone else in the family - we all wait for everyone to be present to watch it... (Thanks, Dausen; you're awesome! :)

Though we may know we are blessed and notice blessings, oftentimes we have many more blessings we don't notice right away. Sometimes we need to LOOK for the blessings so we can see them, appreciate them, and not take them for granted...  

As I celebrate Christmas time this year things are very different for me. My husband works a late shift now. While he sleeps, our son leaves for school. Before our son returns home, he leaves for work. We turn in to bed before he returns home from work. We miss our family time together - especially during the Christmas season. I can mope about not having as much time together as usual - or I can be thankful that I can't take family time for granted any more...

I can't take it for granted...

Sigh. :)

Another thing I can't take for granted is the fact that I have but one chance to raise my family to the lord. ONE chance. Once they are grown and gone my chance is up...

This year, the thing that seems to matter most to me is simply to help my family feel the spirit of Christ in their lives. It is to carry on without my husband and invite the spirit of Christ into our home. I love that we have traditions that last all year. Traditions that we do in our home as a family. I love that after family gospel study a teenager will volunteer to give a prayer - without me saying a word about it. Each one of them know the routine and participate fully - all of them... I only pray that we never take that for granted...

This is what I desire for Christmas. I desire to BE an influence my children - for good - to be a greater light to them - to inspire them to study their scriptures more and pray more sincerely and fervently than ever before... I pray for each person in my family to feast on the words of Christ, and to KNOW Him, and Love Him, and Desire to love and serve as He does. Then, it can feel like Christmas all year round. :)

Merry Christmas!
Corine :D

Five Ways to Help Youth Have Spiritual Experiences
Rediscovering the Christmas Spirit
2012 First Presidency Christmas Devotional
Christmas Site
Free Christmas Songs to Download
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Website

PS. I'm having so much fun preparing for Christmas! :D I sewed until 2:30 in the morning. :o And today I get to do a little more baking and shopping with my family. :) I'm so thankful for this beautiful - and miraculous Christmas Season! :D

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