Monday, December 1, 2014

Monday's Matter: FHE What Shall We GIVE?

At our house, and millions of others around the globe, Monday nights are set aside for family.  A Family Home Evening (FHE)!!

Opening Song:  O Come O Come Emmanuel (Piano Guys!) Sing ALONG TIME - Really belt it out!

Prayer:  Me! Me! Oh Pick MEEEE!  ;)

Dashing through the snow!!!!

Okay, no snow but still dashing, running really, trying to get everything "done" for Christmas.

When, I ask you, did Christmas turn from a joyous season of love and celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world to an all out buying frenzy?  Every commercial is tempting me to buy something, to make merry by spending money, insinuating that no one will have a "Happy Holidays" without these purchases.  The TV shouts about deals...Black Friday Week!  Thanksgiving Day Sales!  Black Friday! Small Business Saturday!  Cyber Monday!!  My newspaper is bursting with advertisements from local shops and the front page had a big sticker on it today advertising a Holiday Sale!

What do you remember from your favorite Christmases of years gone by?  Was it the awesome expensive gifts your received or purchased?  Maybe it was the massive amount of time you spent shopping, dragging your tired body from one loud-holiday-music-playing-over-decorated-and-over-priced-store to the next?  I know!!  It was the crazy amount of energy you put into ignoring family and friends so you could get the house ready for holiday visitors!  How about the super high credit card bills and low savings account balances?  No?  That's not what you remember? Oh.

Well me neither!!

Some of my favorite Christmas memories include playing board games or doing puzzles with friends and loved ones.  Sipping hot cocoa while watching Christmas movies that warmed our hearts.  Sledding on days so cold it made our noses and cheeks red.  Caroling songs of the Savior's birth through the neighborhood.  Attending local nativity events and church Messiah sing alongs.  Walking hand in hand down Christmas Tree Lane Ooing and Ahhing over the beautiful light displays. Pondering what it might have been like, in the stable, long ago for Mary and Joseph and their new baby who was born to save the world.

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit,
He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!
“Pooh-Pooh to the Whos!” he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
“Then the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry Boo-Hoo!
“That’s a noise, “grinned the Grinch,
“That I simply MUST hear!”So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow …
But the sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!
He stared down at Who-ville!
The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN‘T stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”
(Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, New York: Random House, 1957.)

I thought for FHE tonight it might be nice to watch these short videos and talk about ways to make a return to Christmas for our family.  To leave behind the emptiness that comes from the mass commercialization of the season and make a conscious effort to remember the importance of this time of year and to plan activities that help to invite that special Christmas spirit.

Watch and Discuss:

VIDEO:  "What Shall We Give"

VIDEO:  "The Reason Behind Christmas"

VIDEO: "The Gift" Parts 1 and 2

Looking for more great ideas?  Check out this talk by Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf "Seeing Christmas through New Eyes"

{FHE Doesn't Have to be Perfect, It Just Has to BE!}

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