Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Eve Devotional

Zoë fell asleep in the middle of It's a Wonderful Life and slept right through our Christmas Eve Devotional, which means she's up and peppy now! When we started It's a Wonderful Life there were many moans and groans about it being black and white but I assured them that they would enjoy it (and they did).

They have no concept of timelines though. My brother David played the role of Ernie (right?) in It's a Wonderful Life back in Orem so I told the kids that their Uncle David was "just" in this play and that he was the taxi driver. So the taxi comes on and Rachel goes, "Wait, where's Uncle David? I don't see him."

The movie came out in 1956—long before Uncle David was even thought of! It was pretty funny that they thought he'd show up in an old black and white movie.

This year I especially enjoyed the part where George Bailey says, "I want to do something big and important!" and his father replies, "You know, George, I feel that in a small way we are doing something important."

A few days ago I read an article by Elder Christofferson in the Ensign titled Be at Peace and it really resonated with me, especially this bit:
Just sit with the Lord and let Him warm you like a fire in winter. You don’t have to be perfect or the greatest person who ever graced the earth or the best of anything to be with Him.
I hope you will take time this Christmas season to sit for a few quiet moments and let the Savior’s Spirit warm you and reassure you of the worthiness of your service, of your offering, of your life. 
So is it really any wonder that the same message trickled through It's a Wonderful Life and into my heart?

Sometimes I forget that I don't have to be perfect or the best of anything and I start wishing to be those things—because I'm so far being perfect or the best—thinking that it would make me more worthy. More worthy of my husband, more worthy of my children, more worthy in the eyes of God. I, too, sometimes (proudly?) desire to "do something big and important!"

This week I've been reminded time and again that what I'm doing is important...in a small way...and that sometimes the small things are the most important of all (even if it doesn't always seem like it).

I don't have to accomplish any grand thing to be worthy of God's love (or my husband's love or my children's love). I simply have to be the best me that I can be while trying a little harder to be a little better every day, because if I do my best the Lord will make up for the rest.

(How many clichés can I cram together in one sentence?)

Anyway, I'm incredibly grateful this day, and every day, for a Savior who is willing to pay the price for my sins, fill all my shortcomings, and bridge the gap leading home to our Father above.




Like I said, Zoë slept through our Christmas Eve Devotional, so baby Cinderella had to take the role of Baby Jesus. Benjamin really wanted that part and if not that part then he wanted to be Mary. The part of Mary is rather permanently claimed by Miriam. In years past we've had to do the Christmas story more than once so that both Miriam and Rachel could take turns being Mary, but with Rachel satisfied with playing the angel I didn't think Miriam would have any competition for Mary. But I was wrong. Eventually I persuaded Benjamin to be Joseph, which he was fine with (as long as he could hold the baby).

Andrew was narrator, and Rachel was the angel:



Here is Mary being "great with child":



And here are a few more shots of the holy family:

"This IS how Joseph smiles!" 
Here's the angel, sitting pretty, after giving her line about peace on earth, good will toward men:


And here she is being shocked by the gifts the wisemen brought (really I think I surprised her with the camera). I was the wisemen (yes, all three). We have real frankincense and myrrh that we picked up in Turkey (about 9.5 years ago now) though we're sorely lacking in the gold department (so instead we have some gaudy costume jewelry stuck in the box with the frankincense and myrrh).


And here's Andrew opening the Quran to read some passages about Jesus' birth:

3:42. Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee; chosen thee above the women of all nations.
3:43. "O Mary! worship thy Lord devoutly; prostrate thyself and bow down in prayer with those who bow down."
3:45. Behold! the angels said "O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus the son of Mary held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of the company of those nearest to God."


Then we sang, like, half the Christmas songs from the hymnbook. We told the girls they could each choose their favourite, but it turns out they're all favourites. We eventually called it a night (Benjamin was bouncing off the walls) and promised that we could sing the rest of them tomorrow.

The kids are all having a sleepover in Miriam and Benjamin's room.

We had popcorn and cookies (and left a plate with cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer).

We skyped with Grandma and Grandpa (who are in San Diego having Christmas all on their own).

It's been a wonderful, wonderful Christmas Eve.

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