"ONCE UPON A TIME"....there came along this little lump...insignificant really when you compare it to the entire world of lumps. That is, right up to the point that it wasn't...insignificant I mean............... andso began my journey.
A NEWER SHADE OF PINK...now I more then SURVIVE...I am learning to THRIVE...
OF COURSE... we all know things are bound to get a little crazy with a surprise around most every corner...not to mention an assortment of bumps and bruises along the way...but I am ever thankful for them all...they have all made me who I am. So buckle up, hold on tight and enjoy the ride thru what I lovingly refer to as LIFE
Let us prepare
for the miracle that was that first Christmas. Let us put aside our frantic preparations
of all the “stuff” and reflect on that sacred night. Tune into LDS.org and watch any one of the
many fantastic messages and videos they have about this special night. Then take a minute to write down what this represents
to you personally, looking forward to what changes you are willing to make to
have room in your Inn.
We are surrounded by
the sights, smells and sounds that really bring together all that is love and
magic of the season. Even the most
hardened hearts will find themselves humming the tune of a carol or feeling the
faint stirrings of a memory of a time past that gives us a little spark of
warmth to the soul. As we come to the
end of this little experiment let us take a little bit of time and curl up and
get lost in the “magic” of Christmas and see if you just might have a new
perspective on that Jolly old guy in his red suit…and just maybe see him in a
new light…for what he truly is… a secular worlds way of celebrating the Savior
There are a ton of classic films at this time of the year....White Christmas (with Bing & Danny), Holiday Inn (with Bing & Fred), It's a Wonderful Life (with Jimmy...but who can ever hear a bell and not think of Clarence getting his wings), but the best one for this journey we are taking has got to be...
The Miracle on 34th Street...
and of course I DOmean the 1947 version!!! Enjoy this classic…and rediscover of all the
magic…do you believe?
There were angels in
the heavens. They are the great
announcers of the Lord always at the ready whenever they are needed. Every great miracle involves angels...protecting,
guiding, assisting, instructing and singing praises. On this sacred night they
were doing all that and more. The
heavens were ablaze with the majestic sound around the world of the birth of
the Savior. The sound of “the multitude
of heavenly hosts” was awe inspiring and I am sure shocking to a great many as
well. I can only imagine being there to
What is the first
thing you do when you hear a bell...look to see where it is coming from. The shepherds of old would use a bell to call
for their sheep especially if any were missing.
You could say the same is true today in most religions…the bell calls
their members reminding them it is time to come together. Although we don’t have bells to remind and
call us, Christ our master shepherd has supplied us we our own personal “bells”
the Holy Ghost. He is our constant
companion and guide...can you hear your bell?
Bells and Santa just
go hand in hand...he has them everywhere and they are always ringing calling us
and reminding us that he is there because it is so important to him that we
never feel like we are alone…even if we can’t see him...sound familiar?
Our sweet toothcelebrates the much beloved candy
cane. What a handy little candy with its
hook on the end…grabbing hold of the edge of your cup or on the bows of your
tree…it is the symbol of the shepherds
hook so quick and efficient in gathering the lost lambs, keeping the flock
together. As the shepherds of old, we
are our brother’s keepers showing love
and support…really seeing others as we look for ways to serve and help those in
need, both spiritually and temporally, gathering together those in need of
comfort and support.
Santa gives them out
freely…hoping to elicit that spark of a smile and joy in the eyes of the child
in all of us…reminding us we are all the same on at least one common spot of
ground...we all want to be loved and feel like someone really cares and to be
seen for who we really are.
As we sit yearly and
watch or read the story of Christ’s birth we are inwardly shocked, annoyed,
surprised, astounded…even judgemental of all those many Inn keepers of
Bethlehem and their blatant disregard for Joseph and especially his VERY
pregnant Mary. How could someone just
turn them away…don’t they realize who it is at the door? “I would NEVER have done that!!!” I would have surly kicked someone out and
found even a small room for them. But
would we have? Do we today? Aren’t we as guilty as those Inn keeper of
being caught up in our hectic overstimulated lives and find not a spare minute
for anything spiritual…those simple basic moments of a prayer or a verse of
scripture. Do we not get so focused on our lives that we don’t really look at
those around us? Think of 3 places you have been today and try to remember
something about the person that was next to you. Maybe…just maybe…it’s not so
surprising that those busy Inn keepers didn’t REALLY see who was at their door
either. What does the sign on your personal
Here is the one place
that Santa has the lead…sadly. I can’t
think of a single person who forgets about Santa…ever.
Whatgifts will go under our tree…. How do
we choose the perfect gift for a loved one? Is there a more perfect gift then
the one Heavenly Father gave the world…His only begotten son. There is no gift
that will ever compare to the love and sacrifice that was given with that gift…no
conditions…no worthiness required…just the ultimate gift to all. There was much thought and planning to ensure
our way home. Do we put much thought
into the long “must have” lists we make as we scurry around trying to find the
best deal on exactly the best version of whatever we have deemed vital for that
person? Could we maybe give more thought
and more of ourselves into it? Remember the Wise Men…
Santa always asks “What
do you want for Christmas this year” and “Have you been a good boy/girl?” Then
we wait with boatloads of anticipation wondering if we are getting whatever it
was we asked for. More often than not we
are bound to be a smidge disappointed because the “perfect” gift in reality can’t
ever be found. We also know that there
is a condition strapped to any request we make…we’re good enough…am I
worthy?? But in the end….Santa usually
does “good” by us and we are happy he remembered us….even if he never saw our
We see the holly leaf
but have we ever given it much thought other than it is really festive with its
red berries? In fact it follows right
behind the wreath because in ancient times it was a reminder of the crown of
thorns worn by the Savior. The sharp
spikey leaves crowned his head with the red berries…his blood that was shed for
all of us. This helps us remember that
all aspects of His life and death are vital for us to remember.
As we compare the
secular Santa with Christ you may have noticed that some countries Santa is
depicted with a crown of holly. It
shouldn’t really surprise us that in man’s search for meaning the icons he
chooses sometimes gets intertwined with the religious symbols of the past
We look to the
wreath…we see it as the symbol of everlasting love…the REAL love that never
ceases, eternal in its design…always surrounds us with no end and no
beginning. The constant affection that
the Savior has for us his children that we more often than not turn away from
because of our own weakness, distractions, stubbornness, or foolishness. He is always at the door waiting for us to
open it to Him and His ever loyal and merciful love.
Santa uses them in
much the same way. They adorn his north
pole home as it does most of our homes today and he is even depicted carrying
one often for the wreath to him symbolizes that brotherly love and friendship
that flows so freely to even the total stranger at this time of year.
We surround our homes
and our tree with bright lights giving them a welcoming glow to light the way
for those who are lost and seeking. We
are quick to light the fireplace on those cold winter evenings and even enjoy
the warmth and glow of a candle or two.
Just as Christ is the light of the world whom we all seek…we can be the
light for another. He is the light that
dispels all darkness and despair if we would just trust in Him and hold tight
to His words. It is time to arise and
shine forth…bringing that light and His words to all around us…for Christ IS for all mankind and He will light
all those dark places.
How often do you see
Santa depicted resting in front of his fireplace…pondering the bigger picture
and perhaps his role in it?!?!!?
Our eyes are drawn to
the Star. The heavenly sign of promise
long ago that the Savior of the world was born and that tiny little baby would
change the world. The fulfillment of
that promise did indeed change the world but in our busy day-to-day lives do we
still let that change have an eternal effect on us?
Santa it is the glorious light that shines a warm glow all around it inviting
all to gather in to take in the beauty and peace of the Spirit of Christmas.
We are reminded of the Tree that adorns most of
our homes this season. It is no happen
chance that it is an evergreen tree. It
was first chosen because the tall stately tree remains green all year reminding
us of the FIRST gift of the Savior…everlasting life. That like the needles of the tree if we keep
our eyes up and look to the Lord in all things our focus will remain on the
important things of time on earth.
Have you ever
wondered why Santa waits ‘til we are all asleep to come into our homes…? Even he doesn’t want to distract us from this
symbol of Heavenly things.
When we think of Christmas, people are
always of two minds which are more often than not…POLAR (no pun intended) opposites.
You are either trying to keep Christ in Christmas or floundering in the world’s
idea of Santa Clause. My question is…are
they really that far apart?? If you take
the time to look at them both and dig to the root of both thoughts you just
might be surprised at how similar they started out being. So in the next 12 days,we are going to rediscover just
what they have in common and how we can celebrate both without eliminating
either or being pulled to pick sides.
In the end we hope you discover the
full joy of Christmas…the one that both sides intended from the
beginning…before all the greedy commercial stuff got in the way…
In the words of Arsenio Hall.... "Things that make you go....hmmmm..."
I will admit...I LOVE to people watch!!! I will wander the airport when we travel just to get a take on the "masses". I find people, with all their little quirks, moods, outlooks and stress triggers very fascinating to observe. For some reason, it just struck me the other day, while I was sitting in my car as VoR was filling it with gas...just how bazaar human nature can be. The line of cars with people patiently waiting their turn at (it was either Timmy's or Starbucks) was down the street. Let me start by saying...I am not and never have been a coffee drinker....but I still have to say....PEOPLE...REALLY?!?!!? I have been in Costco the last couple of weeks and they are doing a demo of the Nespresso Coffee Maker....it looks like a real "fancy schmancy" contraption...and seriously...who wouldn't want to be in the "cool club" like George & Danny (you have seen the commercials...right?!?!?) well it was evident by the continually huge crowd jammed around to get their sample swig, that they not only wanted "be in" but that it was brewing pure gold. I am just astonished that the lure of one little beverage has such a controlling power over the masses....I digress...
Now to bring this to just how insane I find this all...lets jump back a couple of days ago when I as standing in line in a store, and kind of had to giggle to myself as someone got sooooo twisted in knots (and colorful metaphors) because there was a line up for the cashier...and "how dare they only have 3 of the 4 cashiers open" Have you ever noticed in this "season of brotherly love, peace, good will toward men" that people are the most impatient and rude. It just makes me kinda laugh to people watch this time of year...the most rational, level-headed person becomes this HUGE ogre...growling and roaring at everyone around them...with the steaming cup of coffee in their hand that you know they happily sat in line for....LOL
Just a little reminder to us all....from one old retail veteran...the poor cashier is probably just as excited at the prospect of that HUGE line as you are. So....Be kind to one another...we all have lists that are too long and time that is too short...and so is life...trust me!!!