I'm wearing my Christmas socks today

Christmas is only a week away and I feel like we've been doing a good job balancing our celebrating of the season without doing too much. Last night we printed off and prepared our Christmas letters for friends and family, and today I mailed them at the post office. I also mailed off our present for Mr. Fob's sister (his family does a name exchange, so we only have to get a gift for one other person), and a package for a soldier. Monday night for FHE we all drew Christmas pictures for a soldier in need, then yesterday I bought a few fun things for them at Target and we mailed it off. I wanted the kids to do some kind of holiday service, and sending nice notes and little treats to someone seemed like something we could do. My dad has spent the holidays deployed overseas, and I know that it can be scary and lonely without anyone to support you. So if you're looking for someone to send a little something to, check out this website for more information.

Yesterday morning I also finished up my Christmas shopping--I even found some cute pajamas on sale at Target for Little Dude and a Super Girl winter hat for S-Boogie. So the letters have been sent, presents are wrapped and under the tree, and we've scheduled some friends for helping us make gingerbread houses next week. The only other big tradition we have left is making and distributing goodies to our friends. That one has been changing a bit during the last few years, since we've often ended up getting together with friends for a little party on Christmas Eve. This year we do plan to bring some cookies down to our friends the Thteeds and stop by and see the temple Christmas lights while we're in the area (if you read this before I email you, let me know when you'll be home).

Although the giving of gifts to neighbors has become a fairly standard practice these days, and can even bring out a competitive spirit in some, when I was a kid I remember being one of the few families that baked cookies for other people. My mom tells me she started the tradition as a way to keep small children occupied on Christmas Eve, and it was always one of my favorite things to do at Christmas time (since I love cookies so much). I also know that my mom was inspired by her mother, my grandmother, who always loved to cook and share with other people.

On her blog, my mom noted that yesterday was her mother's birthday. My grandmother passed away two-and-a-half years ago and we all still miss her. This summer at our family reunion my uncle brought a video he had put together of memories of my grandma. One of the stories that touched me was my aunt telling about a time she went with my grandma to deliver Christmas treats. They went to all the lonely, sick, and poor people in the neighborhood and my aunt felt very humbled to realize how much her mother cared for all the people that she knew, even if they weren't the most popular. This story also touched me because I had recently read a similar story about President Monson--that he always reached out to the needy. When I read that about him, I had felt a little pang of jealousy that he was such a well-known and good man, but then I realized that my grandmother also set that kind of example of reaching out to everyone around her. Every time I bake cookies for my friends its because I come from a long line of women who just want to feed the world and I hope my own kids keep the tradition going some day.

Comments

Thanks! That site is exactly something I was looking for. My mom gives all of her grandkids money for charity purposes at Christmas time. I wanted to use Dean's money for soldiers after reading experiences of some of my friends with husbands in the service, but I didn't know what exactly to do. It's a cool idea.
rantipoler said…
I'm so impressed that you've been so industrious and generous! Hopefully I'll get it together like that some day. Way to go. :)
When I was a little child I never try to give a trial of my new dresses before the day. Not even the socks. I really miss that time of my life.
That last paragraph is a perfect description of the holiday season.

And she went about doing good . . .

If such could be said about me after my passing.
Julie said…
I look forward to your christmas letter! =) I also also bake treats to give to friends and neighbors, it's something we always did as kids and my mom still does. In an effort to keep things simple this year I'll be doing it for less people, but still doing it.

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