This Christmas...

With Thanksgiving now over and Christmas soon approaching I can’t help but ponder the holiday season. I think back to when my children were fewer and younger, when naptimes, bickering, and temper tantrums kept me from enjoying festivities and adult conversation. I think forward to when those children (and the ones that have come since) will be grown, concerned more with their own friends and their own families, and less with what’s going on in my home. I lament the handmade stockings that I still haven’t finished, and the Christmas cookies that didn’t get made last year. I remember the evenings that slipped away without the advent calendar being attended to, and the decorations that never made it out of storage. I worry about the gifts I rarely have prepared for neighbors, friends, and teachers, and the grand Christmas card ideas that never materialize, and therefore don’t get sent out. Without fail, this ruminating leaves me feeling inadequate and unfulfilled. Why are my holidays not picture-perfect, rivaling those that I remember as a child?

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been too focused on my “to-do” list and not focused enough on my “to-be” list. Though difficult, I need to be accepting that I can't (and shouldn't) do everything that Pinterest would lead me to believe is necessary for a successful holiday. I need to be recentering my Christmas celebration on the Savior. I need to be more grateful for the blessings I’ve received, and more ready to express that gratitude to my Heavenly Father and to the people in my life who are those blessings. I need to be more present with friends and family, and my children, and less preoccupied with the lists that inevitably take up residence in my head.

So for this Christmas season I resolve to-be, rather than to-do. I will learn from the past, but I won’t dwell on recreating it. I will hope for the future, but won’t spend my days dreaming of the perfect holiday to come. Instead, I will spend this time immersed in each moment, enjoying the traditions of today with those that I love, and remembering with gratitude, the gift of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To all of you I wish the same.  With love, Cecily


Will You Help Me Out?

So back in December I was assigned to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting. Seeing as how that's one of my most favorite things to do I was understandably thrilled. Yay. (Note dripping sarcasm here.)

But the topic given, Preparedness, fits nicely in my bucket of most favorite things. So I wrote and delivered my talk and all was well. I even posted it here on my blog for all you cyber-peeps to enjoy. Remember this?

Fast forward to this month. A preparedness blog that I follow pretty regularly announced a contest for us non-Doomsday Preppers. The requirements were fairly straight forward - submit an article or video with your personal preparedness story . . . why? how? where? what? I wrestled with the idea of entering for a couple weeks. Preparedness is something I believe to be hugely important. I dare say I'm a little passionate about it. But writing an article? That's just soooooo much work. (Note whining here.) But I couldn't get the thought of the fabulous prizes out of my head - a Sun Oven, a Big Berkey Water Filter, $200 to spend with Zaycon foods . . . all were so very motivating. Especially when I remembered my talk and thought how simple it would be to alter it into a short article.

So I did. I altered my talk and entered it into the contest. Unfortunately my work doesn't end there. Since the winner of the contest is determined by the number of comments posted at the end of the article, I now have the enviable task of shamelessly promoting my article with hopes of luring friends and well-wishers (and hopefully even lots and lots of strangers) to my contest-entry article for comment posting. Each person can cast up to 5 votes by means of 5 different comments. Nothing fancy or even insightful is required. A simple "Vote #1" and "Vote #2", etc is perfect, and so very much appreciated.

So click this little link, scroll to the bottom of the article, leave a comment (or hopefully 5 different ones), and show me the love!!

PS - Last time I checked I was in 5th place:(
Help me out. Please:)

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