Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas JOY

It's hard to believe that it has come and gone but we had a great Christmas! I hope you did too. Here are some fun and lovely things that made our season beautiful:

* 2 white elephant gift exchanges left me with a fishing enthusiast book-on-tape entitled, "Dances With Trout" and some light-up elf slippers which I gave to Todd reminiscent of when my mom re-gifted her white elephant gained CARROT slippers to me years ago.

* After opening gifts and giving us lots of typical *good celebrator* material, Alec played much of the day playing with an empty 2L Diet Dr. Pepper bottle. It was a rocket missle, air guitar, baseball bat, head bonker and much more. Guess I should have saved that money I spent on, you know, actual TOYS.

* We didn't wake up until 9:30 a.m. on Christmas morning!! And we woke up then only because our niece called to talk to Kenna. Awesome.

* Kenna made and/or purchased a gift for everyone in our family. The cutest thing was how thoughtful and unique each of the gifts were...a small Lego set for Alec, money (because he's saving for an expensive game) and mechanical pencils for Todd (who always needs a pencil at homework time), a Sudoku keychain for Brent, and a puzzle for me.

* I ordered and received our planned Christmas cards in mid-November and STILL only send out a handful. How lame is that?! Expect a New Year's, Human Rights Day, or Valentine's card from our family soon.

* After trying to ignite some generosity and Christmas spirit in Todd who inherited his father's apathy for gift giving, under the tree I found a paper folded in thirds and addressed to me from him:
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the tent,
Not a person was playing. Not even old Brent.
The children were sleeping, all snug in their beds,
While visions of RockBand were inside their heads.
But up in his room, a bump was hear clear,
When little Todd Z. felt a huge Christmas cheer.
He ran down the stairs and what was left out?
Guitar Hero World Tour and Todd sang from his spout,
It's the best Christmas ever. No envy or greed.
And family's what you want. And family's what you need.

Merry Christmas, Mom. --Todd

* We hosted the 3rd annual Zimmerman Christmas Eve party at our house. We missed Grandma and Grandpa Zimmerman who are basking in 75 degree Lima, Peru on a mission for the LDS church but we made it through. I got choked up every time that I imagined them so far away from us at Christmastime. We also missed Brent's older Brother, Steve and his family, and 2 of his younger sisters, Suzanne and Sheri and their families. To add some bulk to our smaller numbers, we enjoyed the company of Brent's sister-in-law's family who were visiting from Arizona. They were good sports to add more winter travel to their holiday for a too basic Christmas feast and hang out with mostly nerds. We loved having them and they made us believe they enjoyed it too :)

* The last gift that I opened from Brent was a pair of running socks and running gloves that actually heat up when they get wet. (Could have used those in St. George last October!) The last gift that Brent opened from me was running socks and running gloves. Cool. After nearly 16 years, we have a "shared" hobby and kind of get each other. I love him very much.

* We participated in several charity experiences this Christmas including subbing for Santa for a Head Start family identified by our school district, shopping for neighborhood families with donated money from a Christmas Block Party, sorting and wrapping donated items for ward members, and anonymously helping out friends and family members. I feel blessed and humbled to have 'enough PLUS'. Brent avoided layoffs at work despite being on the newer employees list about 3 weeks ago. We know that it is a difficult time for many. Giving to others helps me remember and be grateful for what I have been given.

In some past years, I have been thankful for the END of the Christmas season. Off-balance priorities, spending too much on us and not enough on others, and focusing too little on the Savior's birth takes a toll on what should be a peaceful, beautiful time. This season I have been busy and sick but overall, have felt more balanced and joyful. I have noticed much love, humility, generosity, and light in those around me. My brother and sisters love me and love each other. (We even love each others' spouses!) We were raised by good parents who love the Lord and try their best. My children are grateful for the things they have, love each other, and are growing into good people. My sweet husband loves me and that is not always easy to do. He is constant. We have a warm home, working vehicles, and plenty to eat, wear, and play with. In my too-few quiet moments I have felt the love of my Lord and Savior. I hope that you allot yourself some refection time this season too. Merry Christmas.


Scott said...

Lovely post. Wonderful message. Thanks for sharing.

McFrosty said...

Nice. I loved Todd's poem... he's quite the poet.

Atkin Family said...

So sweet Rita - what a neat family you have -- so thoughtful - those are the best gifts that are from the heart and well thought out. Wait til you hear about the denoument of our Christmas days -- its a real humdinger -- I'll tell you on Monday when we get together!!! Have a wonderful weekend, you a such a good friend, thanks for pretending you like me and think I'm kinda' normal!! Luv - Q

Beverly said...

Loved this post Rita. I'm glad you had a peaceful Christmas despite the ratrace. You are loved.

Debbie said...

I love your blog, Rita. I can tell you had a wonderful Christmas. I loved Todd's poem. How sweet of your daughter to be thoughtful in her gift giving. And you and Brent gave matching gifts - just like me and Ben did. It must be that we've all been married 16 years, right?

Your spiritual insights are right on. I always come away from reading your updates - a little bit happier. Thanks! Merry Christmas to all ya'lls.

Erin said...

Great post, Rita! Todd, your poem was awesome! Oh, and we all had a wonderful time at the Christmas Eve party! Thanks again for hosting it.