Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas to All

M and I had a very lovely Christmas (and almost no pictures to show for it!). We spent the holiday with the Greens this year and had a lot of fun. The whole family got together Christmas Eve and had a delicious dinner, followed by a little Christmas program. We sang carols and read scriptures about the Savior's birth, reminding us all about the reason for the season. Afterwards, we played games and visited, then headed to bed.

Christmas Day started out with presents and breakfast! We were so spoiled by our families--thank you! After presents, we watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I had actually never seen this musical (shocking!), but it's one of M's favorites from his childhood (even more shocking!) and I loved it. We then got ready, visited M's grandparents, and headed to a family dinner and party. M's family has a big gingerbread house competition every year, and it's gets pretty intense! I made a good showing for my first time though--I was on the winning team!

TL: On Christmas Ever; TR: Matt's team made a gingerbread manger scene; BL: My team's winning gingerbread house; BR: The third team's Tongan house
Amid all the fun and presents, though, is the real meaning of Christmas. The miracle of Christmas is always so amazing to me. Without Christ's birth and life, we would be lost. My favorite part of the Christmas story is the shepherds. Maybe I have a soft spot for them because of my experience in Bethlehem, but it's my favorite part nonetheless. I love that the first people invited to visit the Christ child were humble, lonely shepherds from the fields. The first noel, the announcement of the birth of the Savior, was sung by angels to these hard-working and meek people. They had really difficult lives and did their best with what they had, and they were greatly blessed for it. I think that like the shepherds, we all are called to see the Christ, if only we will listen. No matter how hard life may be or the challenges we face, we are always welcomed, and even called, to the stable to see Christ for ourselves and believe on Him.

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