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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Wish You a Merry Christmas

"At this time of Christmas, this season when gifts are given, let us not forget that God gave His Son, and His Son gave His life, that each of us might have the gift of eternal life" -Gordon B. Hinckley

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I know I did. On Christmas Eve my dad and I went to Riverwoods Mall to look at Christmas lights and sing carols. Then we got in his car, put the top down (in the snow) and sang along with the radio at the top of our lungs. (And yes, there is a video). On Christmas day Dad took me to see Les Miserables, we had great seats and it was amazing! After that we tried a new Italian restaurant in Salt Lake and had a delicious tomato bisque. AND (for the first time in more years than I can remember) there was no crying about food on Christmas. No stress, no worry, no self-loathing about what I had or was going to eat: a really wonderful Christmas present to me from my Heavenly Father.

This was a wonderful and simple Christmas. I’ve found that those are almost always the best. A few years ago, right after my divorce, I spent Christmas Day entirely alone. It’s a great memory to me because I really got to spend time thinking about what Christmas means. Christ was born. Our savior and redeemer. I’m so grateful He came to earth to set an example, to teach, and to atone for all of us. I know He loves us and has given us the greatest gift.  

Isaiah 9:6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

THANK YOU to everyone who sent or brought gifts to the center. Tara, Whitney, Lisa, Heather, Kristian and Jess, Kristin, Justin, Mary, Debby. To everyone I’ve not mentioned, I’m so sorry—a lot of boxes were thrown away before I got names and addresses! THANK YOU so much! The staff went through donation boxes before Christmas. I’m sorry I can’t thank specific people for the specific things they donated because the gifts were checked and dispersed evenly among the units before I even knew they were here! We all had a very wonderful Christmas morning! Even those who don’t celebrate Christmas received many presents, and all were very appreciated. To hear us opening presents you would have expected to see a bunch of second graders, not grown women.

"We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. But there is a difference between presents and gifts. The true gifts may be part of ourselves--giving of the riches of the heart and mind--and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth than the presents bought at the store. Of course, among the greatest of gifts is the gift of love . . . . " -James E. Faust
I have to use another paragraph to say thank you because that last one seems too small. Thank you to everyone who brought presents, because they were MORE than presents. You took time to do something kind for people you don't even know. Those presents represented love, compassion, support, understanding, and charity; "the riches of the heart and mind." Thank you for giving of yourselves. Thank you for blessing my life. Thank you, Thanks, Many Thanks, You Shouldn’t Have, You’re Too Kind, I Appreciate You! 
Christmas 2010
I know you can’t see it, but this is my amazingly grateful/happy/touched face... (I’m making it right now).

I have a funny side note here. Usually when I receive a package, it’s not for me it’s for the unit. So I just open it and distribute it or let everyone take what they need. Christmas was no different, except some of the girls started taking things out of the package that was specifically to me from my mom! I thought that was funny.

. . . And a Happy New Year!!

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