Thursday, December 20, 2012

8th day of christmas

Fail not to call to mind, 
in the course of the twenty-fifth of this month, that the 
Divinest Heart that ever walked the earth was born on that day; and then smile and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; 
for mirth is also of Heaven's making. 
~Leigh Hunt

Christmas was always fun at our house. I liked being the Christmas elf and pulling out all the decorations and putting them up. I felt like I made our house look as though it were a set for a Christmas movie with garland everywhere, stockings, two trees and lots of yummy food.

My brother Chris and I started the tradition of baking Christmas cookies together. We would read the cookie cookbook and come up with our list of ten or so types of cookies we wanted to try. We would then carefully make our shopping list. Chris would think long and hard about which jam, apricot, strawberry or raspberry, for his favorite shortbread cookies with jam--he took these cookies very seriously and would always make them. I enjoyed baking cookies with Chris.

On Christmas Eve Dad would lean his recliner back, prop his scriptures up on his tummy, move his glasses down his nose and read the Christmas scriptures from Luke in the Bible, and 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. He would then read the Boyer family story of Old Christmas and how at midnight on 6 January his family would go out to the barn because legend had it that the animals would speak again as they did originally to welcome the Christ Child. Upon returning to the house there would be treats and presents for the family.

I spent Christmas with my brother R2 and his family. As we were getting ready to read the Christmas stories my brother disappeared into the bedroom for a few minutes. When he came out, he was wearing a pair of old overalls with a pillow stuffed down them. He walked over to the recliner, leaned it back, propped his scriptures up on the pillow, and pushed the glasses down his nose. Once I stopped laughing so hard, he read the familiar Christmas stories to his family and I. He later said that he did all this so I would feel at home.

So, what is Christmas without a little mirth and enjoyment? Without decorations and yummy treats? Without fun and love? These things all combine to make traditions we remember and cherish.

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