I love Christmas! I love the season, the smells, the feel of everything, the taste in the air and the energy all around! For years I have dreamed of having that perfect storybook Christmas, my family never had that. Oh we had our own type of Christmas Magic, but never what I knew was waiting out there…. somewhere.
I grew up all over the US, my dad works for the Federal Government in the Bureau of Land Management. Therefore, we lived in every small podunk town known to mankind. Ok, not really, but it sure felt like it! I ended up going to 11 different schools by the time that I graduated from high school, so I’ve been around. We never lived close to our extended family and we always just celebrated our quiet little immediate family holidays by ourselves. Which I ultimately grew to appreciate VERY much! After college, I ended up moving back East, New York City, Vermont & then was in the Philadelphia suburbs for nearly a decade. (While on that subject I think the state of Pennsylvania simply has something incredibly magic about it – but especially during Thanksgiving to Christmas to the New Year!) Which again put me far away from extended and immediate family. As I’d always done, I adopted new family(ies). This also comes with invitations to spend holidays with other families and get a glimpse into other people’s worlds and traditions. From this I have gleamed some of the best ‘magic’ I have witnessed, and implementing their traditions and magic into my own traditions – and hoping that someday when I have a family of my own I’ll be able to continue to add to that great Christmas Magic!
However, here I find myself close to family once again and some holidays are celebrated, while most are not. If they are celebrated it’s generally because I’m hosting the whole shebang. Most the time though, I find myself ignoring the things about the holiday’s that I love so very much – in order not to be once again heart-broken. I stopped putting up decorations, I don’t want to cook my big fabulous meals, and I look forward to the quiet day off with no one bugging me, no phone calls or texts beyond Happy whatever holiday! It breaks my heart knowing this. I even do it for my own birthday anymore (I’m a Christmas week baby) no one cares, no one will come and if they do, they do stupid stuff that makes me wish I never attempted to throw myself a party in the first place. 😦 This I know all stems from the years of heartache and let downs of having hopes so high that just maybe this year might be a fraction better. In addition in all likeliness its that awful voice of my ex-husband telling me everything was horrible because of me, and my wanting each moment to be great – even if it’s horrible – I continue to believe that there can be goodness found in all things even if it’s just a micro or nano thing… Of course I find myself just wanting to take myself on some fabulous vacation that I can’t afford; far away from everyone and everything…. and it’s warm of course!
Despite my jaded view on this subject, there are a few things that bring me such great joy!
- Christmas Caroling with my Special Needs Kids from our Special Needs Youth Group!
- Giving concerts at the retirement home nearby! (I have a fan club!)
- The Festival of Trees!
- Christmas Concerts!
- SLC LDS Temple Square! (Temple Square Christmas Pictures)
I have been an Auction Host at the Festival of Trees now for 3 years! It’s hard to believe I’ve even been around here that long! I was first introduced to the Festival of Trees from my girlfriend, Andrea. (Andrea’s Main Blog & Andrea’s Second Blog – Things you will not believe!! Regarding the Health of her Children) These are amazing stories that you need to read!) The Festival of Trees is a fabulous non-profit organization that donates 100% of their proceeds back to the children at Primary Children’s Hospital. Each year the first week after Thanksgiving they hold a gigantic auction at the South Towne Expo Center. People and organizations donate their time, talent and resources to providing a fabulous environment and things to auction. You can find Large Trees, Medium Trees, Small Trees, Centerpieces, General Decorations, Wreaths, Quilts, Statues/Sculptures, Paintings,
Photography, not to mention all the baked goods and other gifts that you can purchase there and MUCH more! It’s quiet the experience Auction night is always quite elite and has a formal attire dress code. Andrea & I are Auction Hosts for whatever section we might be assigned to each year answering questions and facilitating the silent auctions in our area. What fun this is! Not only do we get to dress up in our beautiful formals, but we also get to make new friends, meet interesting people and serve! What energy fills the air here! In this one place my Christmas Magic has returned and ignited such a fire of hope and joy all around! I’m so grateful that Andrea invited me three years ago! This
is truly one of my most favorite events of the year! I’m so glad that my little effort actually makes a difference in someones life! It’s amazing to see what some of these items go for – and it’s all really for the children!
So whatever it might be that you love about the Christmas Season… I hope you find it this year. I hope you grab onto it and hold it tight. Find people around you in every capacity that you can serve in either the littlest of ways – most people are so in need of a genuine smile and a hello, or in big ways – but do it just because.
May you be blessed with the Love of our Lord and remember exactly WHY we have Christmas after all… because someone gave us the greatest of all gifts!
I’ll post a few photos from our night. 🙂 Later when I am working on a better computer… 😉
- Festival of Trees opens to the public (fox13now.com)
- Festival of Trees kicks off (abc2news.com)
- Annual Festival of Trees under way at South Towne Expo (ksl.com)
- Thousands check out Festival of Trees (goerie.com)
- Recycling Christmas trees for festive firewood (telegraph.co.uk)
- Originality shines at Festival of Trees (poststar.com)
- The Perfect Christmas Tree (clctreeservices.wordpress.com)
- Preview What’s New At This Year’s Festival Of Trees (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Festival of Trees opens for weekend (wbaltv.com)
- Guide to Seattle’s 35th Annual ‘Festival of Trees’ (seattle.cbslocal.com)