Sunday, December 27, 2015

Scriptures and Symbols of Christmas

Hi friends and family! :D
Miles and I Would Like to Wish You All a Very MERRY CHRISTmas! :)
I know we have given you all the symbols of Christmas repeatedly through the years. It is something I love to review at Christmas time. I love symbols. :)
This year, though, I wanted to rewrite it, using more scripture and my own words as well (as before I quoted some others for parts of it). It amazes me how LONG it takes to make something like this! I wish I could have had it done before Christmas. Sigh... Ah well, I'm learning that my best must be enough, and besides, it is ALWAYS a good time to think about Jesus Christ and of WHY we celebrate Christmas the way we do. :)
I pray we will always SEE CHRIST in our Christmas celebrations and always keep our thoughts and actions on those things which will bring us closer to Him and help us to become more like Him. :)
I love our dear Savior with all my heart. And I love all of you, dear friends! Merry Christmas! :)

Corine :D

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Magical Feeling of Christmas! :D

Merry Christmas Friends and Family! :D

I hope you are all enjoying the magical feeling of Christmas this season! ;D

I am feeling it tonight! My husband and youngest son and I went Christmas Caroling tonight with our sweet Sister Missionaries in this area. I love caroling! It makes me so happy when we see faces light up and hearts gladdened from caroling! Some of these people LOVE it SO MUCH! And that just makes me SO HAPPY to be blessed to bring that joy and happiness to others! :)

Life has been pretty busy this season. There are many Christmas traditions I have yet to find time to make happen. But somehow it still FEELS like Christmas!

I DID decorate. ;)

LOL Honestly though, I think I most of that “Christmas feeling” doesn't really come from decorations, packages and bows (At least, not in circles where they are "expected.") I know we all hear the stories that remind us of what Christmas is REALLY about, and we agree, in theory, but there is still a part of us that is so used to the traditions of Christmas that we sometimes mistakenly believe they must take place for "Christmas" to "occur."

Honestly though, these decorations and traditions AREN'T Christmas. They are simply the symbols that hopefully remind us of what Christmas is... the symbols that, hopefully, draw our thoughts and hearts to ponder on Jesus Christ... on what Christmas REALLY IS... on what we must do to have the spirit of "Christ" in our lives. :) That "Christmas spirit" of hope, joy, and love (all of which we owe to Jesus Christ). Christmas traditions and symbols are the things that help us to remember and ponder on the life and words of Jesus Christ... to increase or get, the spirit of Christ-like love in our lives!

I think the Prophet of the Lord, President Thomas S. Monson explains it best…

“To catch the real meaning of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the Spirit of Christ.”

Our family has been GREATLY BLESSED this season... by dear, "true friends" who have loved and served us in a very Christ like way. These sweet, dear, friends have depicted what it means to have the true spirit of Christmas!

I asked a friend of mine about a bed frame I saw on the ground outside her house. I wondered if she was tossing it. It was broken, but she wanted to know why I asked. I told her I was looking for two bunk beds (one for my twins, and another for Levi and another who will soon be staying with us), but that even a metal frame to just put a mattress on in the meantime would be nice.

To make a long story short, this wonderful friend talked with several of my our mutual friends (all who I work for) and they all pitched in together and bought two bunk beds four hour family.   

But they didn’t stop there… The husbands delivered and assembled the beds...

Shortly after their wives and children arrived… with mattress pads, sheets, pillows, and quilts! 

I wasn’t allowed to see the rooms until the work was done. And I wasn’t given a bill. Instead we were given a whole lot of “THANK YOU!” for the work we do for their families. NEVER MIND THAT THEY PAY US FOR THE WORK WE DO! They just kept saying that they appreciate US so much, and just want to do something nice for us, to thank us for making their homes so nice.

:) DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW THAT FELT? We are constantly thanking the Lord for these wonderful people for hiring and loving us!!!

Miles and I couldn’t have been more touched! IF THAT ISN’T CHRISTMAS, than I don’t know what is! J

Almost like clock work more wonderful thing occurred to add to the Christmas spirit in our home.

We received anonymous gifts on our door step each evening for 12 days with a lovely notes and colored drawing from our “true friends.”

Miles kept peaking at the front door hoping to catch our "true friends" (as the notes refer to them). Devry told Miles he could ruin our dear friend’s fun if he caught them, so Miles stopped trying to peep. ;) But he didn’t stop looking forward to finding out what was coming next! :D …nor did the rest of us (what can I say? Except, we are all quite 'young at heart' over here! ;)).
I can't tell you enough how much of a blessing that was or how thankful we feel! Or how much joy they brought to us this Christmas season...

I just wish there was a way we could pass the joy onto THEM! I want to thank them, SO BADLY. I want them to know how much we appreciate what they did!

We left a card at the door a few nights in a row, but they didn’t see it (and a second card, actually – also not seen).

I pray that all the dear friends who have blessed us this month will be blessed to know they how much this means to us!!! I want them to feel the joy of giving that we feel as we receive. I know how much time, energy, expense, work, and love go into such gifts. I want them to know we know it and REALLY appreciate it. They have been such blessings in our home!!!

I wrote about another one of my favorite Christmas experiences this season on Face Book. I’ll share it here…

“Today I went Visiting Teaching to a friend/sister with seven very young children. I told the kids about Jesus Christ and of how kind and compassionate he is… and merciful.
“I was just giving the Visiting Teaching message, but decided to direct it to the children, in a way that would be meaningful to them.
“As I spoke, I stood at the kitchen table. The children gathered round, so eager to hear that they climbed up on the table to get close to me.
 “They were silent! SILENT because they wanted to hear ABOUT JESUS!
“It was a beautiful experience! And one of the sweet experiences (along with my gifts from sweet friends :)) that has added greatly to the magical feeling of Christmas. :)
“Thank you to all of you, dear friends, for loving our sweet Savior, and each other! :D"

These sweet acts of service and love; and moments in which we reflect on the love of our savior Jesus Christ - are what Christmas is about.

Christmas is changing for me. It is more about the experiences of the season, and less about what lies under the tree on Christmas morning (although gifts from others are experiences; as they are experiences of receiving love).

I still love the traditions, but it is so important to me that the traditions bring my thoughts TO CHRIST. I want the symbols of Christmas to remain SYMBOLS, which remind me and my loved ones to THINK MORE OF CHRIST, and help us examine our lives and how we can learn to love Him more and to be more like him... I don't want the symbols to BE the end all of Christmas.
When I EXPERIENCE the Love of Christ when someone serves my family, or when I serve another, or when I think of my Savior and of His love for all mankind... that is when it FEELS like Christmas! :) And I LOVE it! :D

That’s what I love…

I love Jesus. :)

And I love each of you, dear family and friends!

I hope you all have a very, Merry Christmas! :)

Lots of love,
Corine :D