Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sabbath thoughts...

Today in Sacrament meeting Sister M gave us a list of "Christmas things" to think about... and then she asked us to decide in our minds which of these things were the most exciting.

*Gifts

*Decorations

*Food

*Friends

*Family

*Christ

Then she read the list off to us again and asked us which of these things were the most important.
• Why is it that at Christmastime the things that are most exciting and take the most time are not necessarily the most important?

• What can we do to make our Christmas more meaningful and to spend more time considering those things that are most important? (Cut down on some activities and preparations that are not important; then spend more time on things that are.)

• How can we make Christ the center of our Christmas?

This year, with the economy the way it is, we are down sizing our Christmas. I have to admit, it is NOT easy for me!!! I LOVE CHRISTMAS, I love a big tree... I love lots of gifts...

So, with the downsizing, we bought a smaller tree than we usually do. My sweet hubby put it up on some boxes of food storage so it would be taller (thanks Bradly boy) but I was still (more out of fun then REALLY complaining) doing my pouty face and being sad... when Dal Pal teasingly, and yet seriously, said to me "Mom, it is NOT about the tree. It is about being together as a family and having fun. It is about remembering our Saviour." He is so right!!!

As most of you know from THIS post that I collect nativity scenes... ever since Chadman was small he would go around to all of them and turn the people AND the animals into a circle facing baby Jesus. The first couple of years that he did this I would go behind him and turn them all to face US again. Eventually, again they would all be in a circle facing baby Jesus. I finally got smart one day and left them that way. He still, to this day, goes around and puts all the shepards, wisemen and animals in a circle facing Baby Jesus. I now leave them how he arranges them. It means so much more to me this way... the way we all should be... getting as close as we can and looking at HIM. Thank you Chadman for teaching me a lesson!
Neal A. Maxwell said, "Each of us is an Inn Keeper who decides if there is room for Jesus"
May we each find room for him in our own little Inn...

20 comments:

Frumpy Luv said...

It is a very different Christmas over here - all of my parents' christmas decorations that they have accumulated for years are in Washington, so we have an itty bitty tree up and that's it!! It's kind of nice to not get burdened down with all that stuff. (but I do miss it too!) So when are we meeting???!!!! I'm here until the 30th.

Jan said...

This is so great. I LOVE this so very much. Love the picture too. You always inspire me Shaila.

Jan said...

And meet Frumpy. It's worth it :)

tammy said...

Love this. Ditto everything that Jan said. And I would love to meet you and Frumpy together!

heather said...

My Hubby said the same thing about our Christmas tree when I was crying because it looks so anorexic. He said Christmas is not about the tree.

And yes, I think with the economy the way it is LOTS of us are reconsidering what is truly important.

Tink said...

Awesome post! And, like you, we have downsized and it's hard. But we must remember the reason for the season--Christ! Great thoughts.

nikkicrumpet said...

Thanks for the inspiration...I feel like my visiting teachers were just here...which is pretty dang cool since I don't get them in Massachusetts. You get to do it long distance!!!

Lisa Loo said...

I love your honesty and all your great reminders. Thanx for sharing. I especially love the story about your son--how tender! Why is it that cutting back is always so much harder then adding upon??!

wonder woman said...

I couldn't find a good place for our nativity this year, so it's on the coffee table, with all participants in a circle around the Christ child. My boys play with it all day long, and the nativity is found on the floor more often than not, but I love that my kids are playing with baby Jesus.

The B's said...

Wonderful and inspiring as always! Where are you going to be this Christmas? Are you married kids with you...mine...well, if you are in MV...give'em a hug from their mama for me.

Melinda said...

This post made me cry. I love these boys Dal Pal and Chad man. I love what Dalpal said about the tree and how sweet is it that Chad man has always turned the characters in the Nativity to face baby Jesus. What a special memory.
As you know, we are far from loved ones, Christmas Tree Farms, shopping malls, and Christmas lights that light up theneighborhood.I haven't seen one Santa Claus and the only Christmas Music I have heard is in my own apartment. I don't have a family I visit teach to take a plate of cookies to or a neighbor to sing Christmas Carols to. Our Ukrainian Christmas is unlike any Christmas I have ever had. However, what I do have is the opportunity to focus my time reading and pondering the Scriptures, preparing lessons and talks about the Savior and sharing the Gospel with wonderful people I have come to love. Thanks for a great post. I miss our traditional christmas celebration and my family but I am also incredibly grateful for this opportunity to focus on the Savior.

Merry Christmas Shaila, and thanks again for the talk reference

Ashley said...

What a wonderful reminder! And I love your nativity arranged that way too!

Jessica and Ryan said...

Thanks for such a wonderful Christmas message. This year we are more focused on moving and all the excitement of finishing school etc. so it was a good reminder for me to slow down and think about what this season really is all about.

beth at aunties said...

I loved this post. We too had to downsized our overladened tree and Christmas buying this year as so many others have.
It truly is about the Savior, His birth and I for one am so grateful for the most incredible gift of all, His gift of the atonement in my life.
I should do a post about the little nativities our little ones love to get out of the "baby Jesus box". We always seem to lose one or two baby Jesuses until Christmas is all cleaned up and they appear to ahve fallen through a branch or some other magical place their imaginations have taken them.

Thanks for inspiring me once again!
Beth

Jenn said...

I love this post Shaila!
Thanks.

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

Just wanted to stop by and wish you a blessed and very Merry Christmas! ♥ Hugs :) Shauna

kitchenditcher said...

Just wanted to wish you a wonderful time with your family and ♥Merry Christmas!♥

Bren's Life said...

What a great thought.. I wish I could use that in my talk. I like your Nativity that way, it looks good & like it would of truly been.

Anonymous said...

And really, isn't it the lean times, the hard times, that make us draw nearer to our Lord and Savior because he will love and protect us and see us through?

He gives us the amazing opportunity, this year and every year if we pay attention, to look into the heart of the nativity and see the truly important message at Christmas. He has come. For us!

Our worldy thoughts about our cares at hand are as nothing compared to His blessings in our lives. And our children know this and see it, even if we don't realize we've modeled it to them. They just rearrange the nativity scenes to make the point.

Lana

beth at aunties said...

Shaila,

I am so dense:) What book DO I have?