A Christmas Tradition

We tried something new this year. I highly recommend it as it added to our Christmas experience. A month before Christmas we told the kids we wanted them each to pick a non-profit Charity or Cause they wanted to make a donation to. We would give them some money as part of their Christmas to do this. They took some time to research different organizations before making a decision. I loved hearing their feedback in their discovery. On Christmas morning they each received an envelope with a cashier check made to the organization of their choice. I can tell you what a positive experience it has been for them. Looking outside of ourselves and being aware of others is not a bad thing. So if you want to give your family a new Christmas tradition that creates awareness outside of self this definitely is one that works. It doesn’t even need to be much money.

Christmas Miracle 2019

#ElvesLife

1397 Families

4791 Children

411 Families visited the North Pole

7 Lead Elves

632 Elf Volunteers

Over 15,000 gifts 🎁 wrapped

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought…doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps…means a little bit more!

A few quotes below that you might enjoy about the Spirit of Christmas and what it means to us.

Feed My Sheep

Christmas has arrived. This one is special for a lot of reasons. Family all being home right at the top of that list. Another has been the Philanthropy work we are a part of. I have had time today to catch my breath between baking, fun with the family and a nap. In a moment of reflection I have considered the words of our Savior. “Feed my sheep.” These three words have always made me consider what I should be doing. In my mind the Savior was directing us to look after one another. To not just look out for the temporal needs of each other but to nourish the spiritual. To provide an environment and circumstance to feel and experience faith, hope and love. Section 18 of the Doctrine & Covenants speaks of the Joy you will have if you bring one soul to Christ. As the World has deteriorated in the last couple of decades, the one thing we have noticed is a loss of Hope. As Hope dims the chasm between the individual and God widens. Our belief is when we can stir the embers of Faith and Hope people tend to move towards Christ. Somehow, despite ourselves, we have been fortunate to be a part of some great ongoing projects. They didn’t happen overnight. Took many years to evolve into what they are today and many willing hands. This year required financial sacrifice beyond what the funding allowed. It hurt, but we forged ahead. Tonight we experienced a miracle that returned to us many times what we personally donated. This was manna from Heaven at a most unexpected time. A message of validation that when you are on the Lord’s errand, he leads the way. I have been so encouraged by the many stories others have shared with us in what acts of Charity they are doing. It is inspiring to see others discovering the Joy of Charity. Kindness can be big or small, either way it always leaves an impression. We have been so blessed and my heart is full of Joy. God lives. Jesus is the Christ and the Atonement is real. Merry Christmas.

“We may not be able to change the World but we can change the World for one person.”

“In a World where we can be anything, be Kind”

Potato Bowl and More

This has been a fun week. Monday night we had a Christmas Party at the Homestead. It is the first of our own in many years. The highlight of the night was not Santa and Mrs Clause but their reindeer. Yes they were waiting on them to take them back to the North Pole. However, we got to feed them and wow so very cool. Such beautiful animals. Almost dolphin level awesome. If we had been able to go for a ride it might have exceeded swimming with dolphins.

Some of the other things we had going was a variety of old Christmas movies playing on different screens throughout the Barn, a chocolate fountain, a hot chocolate bar, catered light dinner, and Karaoke but with Christmas songs. Now that was truly fun. Me, being the rebel I am sang Baby it’s Cold Outside with Keith. Yes he did take advantage of me later. So there you have it. (:

Tuesday was my last day of being Lead Elf. It was an emotional day and I am so grateful we have been able to continue to grow the Christmas Hope Initiative. It has brought great Joy to many including my family. Wednesday I was able to get a little Christmas shopping done and ended the day with a volunteer activity for the young women wrapping gifts and baking cookies. Finished off with rootbeer floats and an impromptu testimony meeting about the things they saw, experienced and how they were feeling. LPD = Leader Pay Day. There were tears. Thursday finished up the last of the Christmas. Well almost. Literally three things left I’ll do Monday morning. I am so glad I won’t have to do much on Christmas Eve.

We left Thursday afternoon for Boise and the Potato Bowl. Met up with friends for dinner at Tucanos and after, the kids swam in the hotel pool and watched some movies in the rooms while we just relaxed and visited. Game day was Friday and we had fun at the tailgating. Dressed warm in thermals and other than a second quarter slump BYU rocked Western Michigan 49-10. There were a lot of Cougar fans at the game. Always so fun seeing friends and winning. Winning is a big deal at the Bowl Game. Hope BYU can continue to build on this and get better.

Today we are up and on the way to Utah. It’s the annual Client and Friends Movie Premier. This year it’s Bumblebee. I have heard it’s really good so I hope I’m not left disappointed in another Transformers movie. Positive thoughts though. Post movie we are staying the night in Park City then back home Sunday in time for Christmas. This has been an incredible Holiday Season, one I will not soon forget. Merry Christmas to you all. God Bless!

What If?

I came across this pic today. What if? It has been the question I have asked for years. I never thought about “can’t” doing something. Maybe I’m a dreamer or naive or just fearless. One thing for sure the “what if” question has brought me more adventure and Joy than I could have ever dreamed of. There are a few lessons I have learned in life that I believe lead to happiness. First don’t forget to smile. It sets our mood and it makes a difference in every interaction we have. Second engage with others. Both those you know and those you don’t. You are unique and making friends is exciting. Very few things in this world are as enriching as friendship. Third be kind. The ripples of kindness have far lasting effects on others. It’s a habit worth making. One of the greatest messages ever delivered comes from the Savior. When he said, “As I have loved you, love one another.” He gave his life. He suffered. He conquered all. For us we are asked to Love. May we find it in each of us to rediscover this pure love and let it spread in the World.