Ward Christmas Party + Fuzzy Pictures = The Sweetness of Mormon Life

Sorry for the fuzzy image, but this was the best I could capture- notice that he is, in fact, missing his two front teeth... and has his baseball cap backwards, and the patented Bean picture smile is in full effect.

Last night was our ward Christmas party. I’ve heard lots of people gripe over the years about ward Christmas parties, but I have to say, I’ve been to some amazing ones. Do you remember the Night in Bethlehem party my ward did a few years ago? We still have the small cask of gold, frankincense and myrrh sitting by our creche from that party. Last night was nowhere near as elaborate, and there were no tiny chests of treasure to take home, but it was a sweet experience of its own kind.

This year the party was really ad-hoc. With the disbanding of the activities committees church-wide, it was interesting how this party  came together. People banded together and still worked hard, but it was more relaxed- at least it seemed that way to me. (who used to be on the activities committee) The gym was still decorated nicely- various people brought centerpieces and tablecloths, and hams had been cooking all day. Four stations were get up around the room, with a large dessert buffet at the front near the stage. Four stations was a brilliant idea, as there were no long lines, and plenty of food for everyone. The kids ran amok and chased each other around and around the building, while snow flurries started to gently blow in…

In the kitchen, a few people had everything running like a well-oiled machine, and despite my offers of help, all I was able to do was cut a caramel apple pie and a red-devil cake for the dessert table. My visiting teacher was tossing huge bowls of salad, and one of my favorite women in the world– a grandmother of many– was dishing up potatoes and gravy into crystal bowls. Joking with each other in the kitchen, she gave me a huge hug and told me she loves me, and slipped some folded bills in my pocket with the command to get some things for my kids coupled with the shiny tears on the edge of her eyes.

In the gym, my home-teachers had staked out a table near the stage, and welcomed me and the kids to their spot. Joining us was the stake patriarch- the same one who gave me my blessing so many years ago, and his sweet, gentle wife. My kids bounced in and out, and when it was finally time for the blessing and dinner, everyone was bouncing off the walls. Jeffrey ate a plate of potatoes, Abby a plate of rolls with butter, and Bean? Bean skipped the dinner line and went straight to the dessert line and came back to the table with what you see above. There is no real food on that plate- only cookies, candy and sugar. Rather than make a big deal, I kissed his little happy cheeks and told him to knock himself out.

Then the Primary kids all climbed up on stage, and with absolutely no rehearsal, sang four Christmas songs. They also may have done a fair amount of shoving and goofing off, and one mama came up to me afterwards and said “I’m so glad it wasn’t my kid this year!” Bean has a way of making parents feel that way- and we’re usually happy to oblige. Jeffrey and Abby are both on the left, Bean is in his backwards ballcap near center right. They sang one of my favorite Christmas songs- Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus. Listen to it with the words and music. Makes me cry every single time…

Then, afterwards, because we are very fortunate, we walked outside our stake center, and were able to simply cross the parking lot and take a walk around the temple grounds. The kids all asked to this, and even Bean loves to skip around the walks and climb the benches inside the fence– which I happily let them do. It was a very good party- and a very good night.

6 thoughts on “Ward Christmas Party + Fuzzy Pictures = The Sweetness of Mormon Life

  1. I love these moments of perfection in Mormonism, when everyone is full of love and good will and everything falls into place.

    What a wonderful woman that grandma-to-many is! I’m so glad she was able to do something like this for you and your kids. I know the weight of the worry this time of year brings when money is a major issue… What a gift!

    And I hadn’t realized you attended church right next to the temple! That is so cool. My oldest son who is serving a mission in Everett has been able to attend the temple a few times, and has loved the experiences!! I grew up near a temple, and I miss the opportunity for my kids to walk around the grounds.

    You had a day of heaven!

  2. I’m learning what a blessing it is for kids to spend time that close to a temple. Hooray for you that it’s relatively easy to do! I may have also let my kids a few meals consisting of little more than sugar and fat this season……. if it’s late enough in the day I think the battle I fight with them over it may be worse than the actually sugar high and crash, so I let it go.

  3. Oh yes, I’m very close to the temple- don’t even have to go through any stoplights to get there. And I always know the workers, since most of them are from my stake. It’s homey and nice.

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