Last Saturday night, we were able to take the "available" kids and grandkids to the Polar Express! (by available, I mean living in Utah. Sadly, we are missing a grandchild in California :( ... )
We had a great time, and had an "ugly sweater/tie contest" to make the evening interesting. Jake won the ugly tie contest by default...and for wearing a wooden tie. Ick. But you'll buy anything on your mission to enhance your wardrobe. ie; huge belt buckles with "tennessee mission" on it from Matthew, and a "Bonagly" self portrait t-shirt from Daniel...which he still proudly wears. Not to mention Jakes tie...and we won't even go into the classic pictures from that child.
Guess who won "ugliest sweater"? It should have been Matthew, because I don't think he would wear his sweater again, but I am so going to wear this one again! It's going right into the costume closet after it gets laundered. (Right now it has a combo scent of old lady cologne, DI and my perfume ...trying to cover up the old lady cologne and DI smells. I just may have forgoten to wash it before I wore it! Smelly lesson learned.)
What prompted this contest was rather interesting. I was feeling rather "Bah Humbug" after our first Christmas festivity this season, and I noticed the Bah-Humbug as I was walking through Temple Square with the music and festive lights surrounding me. I couldn't place what was missing, and was rather mystified as to why I would feel so out-of-season surrounded by so much..."season".
On the ride home, and listening to Christmas music of course, I had time to ponder on my dilemma. I love the Christmas Season, but I really wasn't excited for it this year. I was tired, I had a lot on my calendar, and I was starting to get sick. Not a good combo. But ponder I did. And I received an answer to my problem.
I was waiting for Christmas to wrap me in its material arms and tell me what a wonderful time this was going to be. I was taking a passive ride through commercial-ville, and dreading the fighting at the stores and the long lines promising to suck all the time away from me.
... and then I got it. I realized that the season wasn't to go see the colored lights or the gift giving or the songs or the hustle and bustle. The Season was CHRIST. The season is to serve. The season is to lose ourselves in service for Christ. The season is to take care of people and to be happy and to CHOOSE to do those things. All of a sudden my perspective changed. And things started to twinkle.
I got up the next morning (after 5 hours of sleep... I usually require 10) with a fresh start. I went to our ward Christmas breakfast ready to fix and serve 300 people breakfast, take their pictures with Santa and then clean up. I had a great time! I started to FEEL the Season... and since then I've tried to serve with a cheerful heart and remember who I am really serving. And it's working. I am enjoying the season of CHRISTmas. I am feeling the spirit of CHRISTmas and I love being alive. The Season isn't about "stuff", it's about people.
It's amazing what one little baby sent to the world can do, and how we can all change because of Him. What a wonderful gift! And because of His gifts, I am able to enjoy mine. Thank you Jesus, and Merry Christmas.