Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Holidays to everyone! I have finally started my Christmas shopping! I am so behind! Yes! I am behind! Years ago I started my shopping as early as September. I had six children and hated the mad rush and money crunch of December. Some may think that is just too crazy and commercial minded, but not really. I LOVE Christmas. December is a time for remembering the Savior's birth. I hate going to the stores and rubbing elbows with all the rushed and stressed out people.
     Our family does have a Christmas tree and we use the idea that Santa brings gifts that surprise and thrill the kids Christmas morning. During the year, I don't buy my kids everything they look at in the store so, yes, they make their lists and "Santa" may bring them something on the list, but I take care of that before December so we can focus on the Savior and the doing things for others in December.
   We started off the month with a special family night, the first Monday of the month is our "Jesus' Dinner". We start our December off with the story of Jesus' birth from the bible in Luke 2. We cook fish, add sliced apples, oranges and grapes. I buy all kinds of different cheeses-things we don't usually buy-- and I make unleavened bread. We spread out a quilt and this special dinner is served in the living room floor on platters. We don't use plates---and the best part! We dress in costumes representing the Nativity and we take a picture. We started this when my oldest son, Josh, was 8 years old, so now for 20 years we have carried on this tradition.( I actually have the order wrong in my telling--we prepare the dinner, take the picture, eat the dinner and then read the from the scripture!)
     Even though we decorate our tree the weekend of Thanksgiving, no gifts go under the tree until we start the season with our "Jesus Dinner." The rest of the month is for doing things for other people. We make gifts and we make goodies and visit people. Sometimes we become "Secret Santa" for a couple of families.
    One other traditions is Music. In the past we have had people come to our home for  a night of music. We have had piano recitals, we have had Christmas Caroling around the piano or on the back of a flat bed truck. Last year and (again this year) we invited our neighbors, friends and people from our church to a special Night of Music in the Chapel of our church. (Great sound system and a baby grand piano!)
    Our family prepares solos, duets, and other musical numbers to share with  our friends. Last year we included other talented people, featuring vocals and piano solos and performances by violinists. It was a beautiful night! We will be doing it again December 15th in Parma, Idaho! Everyone is welcome!
      Christmas is for celebrating the life of our Savior. We celebrate that he lives! That he showed us the example of how we should live our lives on this earth. Christmas is for giving as the Savior gave to us. It isn't about the expensive gifts under the tree, its about giving unselfishly to others.
     I hope you all are preparing for a wonderful Christmas. But first is Thanksgiving! A time to give thanks for the Savior and all that my life has been blessed with!

      I am still writing! I have people editing my next book. I do have a couple of short stories that I have written if you need a quick read for the Holidays.  1) A Christmas Wish  2) Kendra's Blessings. Paper form-- $3.00-- Mail me a note stating your choice, include your address and the price of the story and I will mail it to you! Out of the U.S.A.-$15.00 --U.S.A. currency only.
                         Donetta Loya /26227 Pioneer Lane/ Parma, Idaho  83660
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