Friday, December 4, 2009

A Week in Review

Hello Everybody! I’m told that this is the most wonderful time of the year, and what better way to put an exclamation point on that sentiment than with a blog post? Here’s a Week in Review.

Candlelight Christmas
Marla and I discovered a Salt Lake City gem – Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place Heritage Park. It’s beautiful. Everyone I’ve told about this since being there has said that they didn’t know that the park had a Christmas event, so I’m on a mission to get the word out. It’s a great evening. All of the buildings and homes are decorated with an old fashioned, classic theme, lots of evergreen branches, red ribbons and lights. I’m pretty sure that the early settlers did not have electric light displays, but you can see the danger in combining candles with branches and ribbons. They’d hate to burn down the park. Anyway, there are great light displays along the outside of the park and up on the hill. Some of the fences had wagon wheels in lights all along them, very cute.

AND there’s a train ride. We debated riding the train because of the cold, but the workers assured us that there were blankets on the benches, so we braved it. It turned out to be my favorite part of the night. The train was so cute with its holly and bows, and there was Christmas music playing. We rode past the big light displays, and through the village, and then up the hill. At the top of the hill there was a small pond, and a large sailing ship in lights sitting just on the edge so that it reflects in the water. From there we could see across the whole valley. It was gorgeous, and I loved being there with Marla, just the two of us, having our own Christmas evening together.

There’s a lot more to do at the park than I’ve written here, craft projects, Father Christmas, a live nativity. It’s all good. I recommend going.

I’m reading an interesting book, “The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits”. The title pretty much says it all – it’s a biography on Dickens and his writing of A Christmas Carol, and of how that book changed English and American societies’ views on Christmas. I just started it, so I don’t have any fascinating facts to interest you with right now, but I will, and I’m sure you’ll be looking forward to that.

A Paper
I finally finished a term paper for my History class. It’s on a couple of documents from British history, one of those being the Magna Carta, and I’ve been working on it forever! Here’s how this went down: the Magna Carta was signed in 1215, and while there I thought “Hey, that would make a good paper” and then got started. That was almost 800 years ago. Way too long to be working on a paper. But, it’s done, and I think that I’ll be able to submit it today. What a relief.

Isn’t it strange that it’s Christmas time again already? Melissa bought a tree for our apartment on Tuesday. It’s really pretty – very full and thick, and perfectly shaped. I wasn’t too interested in the tree one way or the other, but now that it’s up, and the place smells all piney, I like it.

I’ve decided to take a more relaxed approach to Christmas this year. I have in the past gotten too worked up over it. I don’t know where people get all of their expectations, but I’ve had it in my head that Christmas is for families, and it’s suppose to be so full of love and warmth and excitement that you’re in danger of your chest exploding. I kind of blame those tv commercials with the guy who buys his wife diamond jewelry and then gives it to her while she’s sitting in her rocking chair with their new baby. Geesh.

But soon after Thanksgiving I was thinking about that holiday and how much I love it, and a big reason for loving it is because it’s so relaxed. No pressure. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be anything other than what it is. And then I realized that Christmas can be exactly the same. Christmas doesn’t have to BE anything either. It can adapt to all of us, whatever our circumstances. It’s a lovely holiday. The trees and decorations are gorgeous, the music is good, parties are fun, and you know I love getting a gift or two. I can be happy with and love Christmas just as it is, for what it is. And of course there is at the heart of the holiday the birth of our Savior. Some of the most beautiful verses in scripture are the Christmas story. They’re simple and sweet with so much importance in so few words.

That’s how I’m going to do Christmas this year, simply and with importance put on the little things. No pressure to make it spectacular, just enjoying it for what it is.

Thanks as always for your continued friendship.
You are loved.


Nicole said...

Thanks for the heads up about This Is The Place and their fancy "olde" Christmas celebration. Because of your recommendation I want to do it. Not because they spell old with an "e" on the end.

And a husband giving his wife diamonds while she holds their new baby? I cannot stop laughing. You're exactly right - expectations are off my list starting now. :)

Tiffany said...

I can't wait to hear more about that book. I have the copy of A Christmas Carol you gave to me sitting on my coffee table right now. I love it!

Melissa said...

I'm glad you like the tree, I was very please with it too. I would like to read your paper, it sounds interesting.