Monday, December 5, 2011


I'm in love with this time of year. Not only do I love that it's so cold right now my fingers are permanently blue, but I love the Spirit that fills the air. I love strangers being nice to one another. I love the Christmas music, hot cocoa, sugar cookies, Christmas lights. I love the chocolate covered peppermint joe joe's that Trader Joe's sells ONLY this time of year... I love it all!

A few traditions that we have I've carried on from when we were little. Each year we drive around looking at Christmas lights and singing Christmas songs. We also as a family chose someone who is in need and do Secret Santa. This is a tradition my kids LOVE. And probably one of the only times that my kids keep a secret. ;) Tonight we did another tradition that we used to do when I was little. Bry is at a work function and so the kids and I went to my parents house for dinner and FHE. After dinner we went in the living room and my Dad read us Christmas stories. Now, I've heard these same stories year after year for probably 20 years and every time I hear them I cry... tonight I didn't disappoint. The tears were stronger than ever {I'll blame it partly on the hormones! lol} and the Spirit I felt was amazing. It was so neat to sit with my littles and share these stories. After that my parents told my kids about Christmas when they were growing up. It was such a fun night!

This year I also started another tradition of letting my kids help decorate the Christmas tree. I can remember being little and wanting to help sooo bad. My Mom would let us help and then stay up all night long re-arranging the tree to make it look perfect. A few weeks ago I told Bry my suggestion of allowing the kids to help. He knew this was a big deal for me and told me it was up to me. So I did it. It was hard at first and I took a lot of deep breaths and counted to 10 a dozen times, but we made it through it. The kids had a hard time realizing that not every ornament needed to be on the tree, and with the new pup who is mischievous we couldn't put the ornaments too low either. Once we got those rules established it became really fun. This year we decorated our tree with ornaments that my Mom had given me from when I was a kid. It was so fun telling the stories behind the ornaments as we hung them on the tree. When we got done Bry was giving me a hug and I said, "Be honest, how does it look?" his reply was, "baby it looks like a family decorated it together" my response was, "That's what I was afraid of" ;) I'm actually really pleased with the way it turned out.

Last night we watched the First Presidency Christmas devotional {another thing I LOVE about this time of year} and I told the kids the story of when my roommate and I drove up from Provo to Salt Lake to go to the devotional. This was before the conference center was built so it was in the tabernacle. Well we didn't have tickets but thought we could get in. Thankfully there was a sweet usher that told us she had the perfect seats for the two of us... stage right to the Tabernacle Choir! YIKES!!!! Our parents called us after and told us how they saw us on TV-- and noticed that I had a horrible case of the giggles! It was such a fun memory that I loved sharing with my kids. I loved the words that President Uchtdorf spoke regarding trying to make Christmas perfect. His words spoke directly to my heart.

I'm excited for Christmas. I love reflecting on our Savior and Redeemer and the life He lived. I love taking this time to recognize the things that I can do to try a little harder to be a little better. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!