Monday, December 10, 2007

Decorating the tree

Last week for Family Home Evening, the boys and I decorated the Christmas tree. Lance was still recuperating(he is doing much better, by the way) and Price was asleep, so it was just me, Jonathan, Levi, and Seth. We turned on the Christmas music(there is a station here that plays Christmas music 24/7 from Thanksgiving day to Christmas-103.5 FM) and pulled out our box of unbreakable ornaments and went to work. It was a very nice evening together. We enjoyed the tree all lit up and finding our favorite ornaments to place on the tree. I just love the time when the Christmas decorations come out of storage and are placed in just the right spot in our home to make it the most Christmasy it can be.

There was a young married man(Jeremy Murdock-one of our favorite friends) who bore his testimony at church last week and said how he could really feel the spirit in his home after he and his wife had gotten their tree up. And it is so true. For some reason, the lights and the smells, and the decorations, and the anticipation of being with family and exchanging gifts really do help a person to feel the spirit more strongly. This was totally confirmed last weekend when Elder David A. Bednar came to our stake conference and instructed us. It has been 27 years or so since an apostle has come to the Fullerton, CA stake to preside over a conference. Well it was totally worth the wait. He told us some amazing things and I could go on for a long time about it. But one thing that he covered in his closing remarks was some scripture references that relate Christ to a tree. (1 Nephi 8:10-12, 1 Nephi 11, Alma 32:37, Alma 33:22-23-read them and you will get the jist of it) The way he spoke and tied all of the verses together, the spirit was so strong in that meeting and then he told us that he hoped that we would never look at a Christmas tree the same again. It was one of those meetings that you really had to be there and me telling you about it will not do his sermon justice, but I will never look at a Christmas tree the same. Anyway, I love this holiday season! We are having a great time preparing for the family celebrations where we commemorate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Oh, one more thing. The boys and I slept on the floor underneath the tree after we decorated it. It was so much fun to have a slumber party with my kids! (Actually, I got into my warm bed after they all fell asleep, so I only had a little mini slumber party) But they love the idea of that tradition every year.

Levi put all of his decorations in the same area.

Jonathan realized the importance of decorating the back of the tree, so that people outside our home could see some ornaments too!

Seth breaking one of our unbreakable ornaments.

Some of my favorites-

An ornament given to me by my sister, Linda. It is just like the one's we use to put on our Grandma Smithson's tree every year when we would help her decorate her tree because she just didn't feel up to doing it by herself. When these are placed directly over a light, the warm air causes the little piece inside to spin. They are so pretty!

This is an actual ornament that my grandma used on her tree. I don't know how I ended up with it, but I am so glad to have this to remind me of my wonderful grandma.

I love how the glaze on this Santa shines in the lights.

Brenda Rushforth, who was once Jonathan's primary teacher, gave him this nativity set a few years ago. It is tiny and made of plastic and the kids love it and I don't mind if they play with it because they can't break it. This year it sits at kid level in our front window. Jonathan arranged it this way. Isn't it so great how children even know that Christ should be in the center?


Michelle said...

These pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I love that tradition of sleeping under the tree, how fun! Maybe we will have to start something like that. I agree with putting up the tree and feeling the true Christmas spirit in your home... we finally put ours up and it finally feels like Christmas!

Carrie Anne said...

Leslie! That is so neat! I bet that was an INCREDIBLE stake conference...wish I could've heard him speak! I remember when Neal A. Maxwell came to a stake I was in on my mission and it'd been about that long, too. It's so neat, isn't it? I heard about the vandalism, so did you have it in the stake bldg or somewhere else? Brenda Rushforth! That is so sweet of her! What a great idea for the kids! Wow! I miss that ward sometimes!:)

Adam and Stacy Thomas said...

I love how you went to your warm bed after they fell asleep. But a fun tradition for the boys. I hope you like the Carolers....I was in the back kinda singing...haha
Merry Christmas.

Becky Mutter said...

How wonderful! Those pictures are so perfect - all warm and...well, warm! I like your tradition!
I hope Lance is doing better.
And didn't you LOVE conference? I just had the older 2 kids with me, so I was able to write everything down - well, everything that my hand could keep up with. It was AWESOME! I loved that an apostle quoted the words of a 16-17 year old boy that spoke before him (Tyler).

Sara Warren said...

I LOVE this post, Leslie! Decorating the tree truly is magical and I can't wait to read up on those scriptures. We had the chance to see Elder Bednar speak on Friday night and words could not do it justice.

That first picture is the best-est! I just love it!

Diane said...

I had to comment on this beautiful post. Thanks for sharing this special time. Be sure to record your memories of Elder Bednar's talk, you'll want to remember it always. We still look back at our notes from when Elder Holland came to the Placentia Stake. I will look up those scriptures. I LOVE all your pictures and your sweet description about the this tender time with your boys. I loved how you mentioned that even children know that Christ should be in the center.

Courtney said...

Great pictures, Leslie!! Merry Christmas!

Trenda Poulter said...

I love the tradition of decorating the tree as a family! It seems like way to often these days, the women want these designer christmas trees and their kids can't even touch them! That takes away from the whole purpose. . . anyway, enough ranting. Beautiful post! Merry Christmas! Glad to hear that your husband is doing better.

GRodenberg said...

thank you for that Christmasy message. i love everything about Christmas and try to get my kids so pumped up about it too. Mike and I used to have slumber parties under the tree while watching Christmas movies with the kids... i think we need to do that again tonight! thanks for the reminder. enjoy those sweet boys at these ages...they grow up so fast! love you and merry christmas!

Berenice said...

Wow! I really have to say this has brought me to tears! You have such a wonderful family and are such a great mother. Reading your blog makes me feel so much love for my own family and our savior. Thanks.
I also can't go without saying that I adore the part about Seth breaking your unbreakable ornament!lol.