"This joyful season brings to all of us a measure of happiness that corresponds to the degree to which we have turned our minds, feelings, and actions to the Savior, whose birth we celebrate."
Thomas S. Monson, "A Bright Shining Star", 2010 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, December 2010
My favorite movie is "Fiddler on the Roof". Tevye has a problem with his daughters not following the traditions of the Jews in their choices of marriage. Times change, and sometimes change is hard. For two years we are changing our traditions.
Christmas is a time for family traditions. But like in the movie, times are changing. We are missing one of our favorite Christmas traditions: our family party. I hope the kids are playing our games. The good thing is that I have a new game that I know they will all love. It will be so much fun when we get home. The games we are missing is the cracker/bubble gum game--chew a cracker then see how fast you can blow a bubble with bubble gum. Sterling seems to win that one. Another game is a present stealing game. They like that one, and there are always surprises, like mice for Sara or a tutu for Jody. The kids wrap an adult of their choice up like a present, then we vote for who is the cutest present. We have great food-the last couple of years has been finger foods, but WOW there is always a lot and it is so good!
|After work we took the long way home and went and looked at Christmas lights. Newport Beach was beautiful with all the yachts with Christmas lights cruising around. This is a bridge in Long Beach.|
|I could not get very good pictures. It was much more beautiful than in these pics.|
|Downtown Long Beach|
|In a park by the ocean, looking at Long Beach-you can see the sky scrapers.|
|One half of our mission, eating lunch.|
|Everyone brought a white elephant present and we went right or left according to a story President Bubert read.|
|This is our whole mission.|
We then listened to the Christmas story and "Jesus the Christ" and sang many wonderful Christmas Hymns. This is the real meaning of Christmas, being thankful for Christ and His Atonement.
Another traditions I have been able to keep is to make divinity, Lonnie's favorite. We will be able to visit Chad, Amy and family for Christmas day-so we will be able to be around family for Christmas. It is special as Chad is in the military, and we have not ever been able to be at his home for Christmas before. Chad would like some divinity also. I was going to make chocolate fudge, but I waited too long and all the stores are sold out of marshmallow fluff, so no fudge. I did make carmels.
|Our tomatoes are still blossoming.|
|And producing--Christmas and tomatoes on our bushes, huh.|
|And our rose bushes are still blooming!|
We wish you all a very Blessed and Merry Christmas!