Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve 2023

 Christmas Eve on a Sunday is definitely my favorite day for Christmas Eve.
 It's so lovely to go to church and have the whole meeting, which is shortened, 
dedicated to singing beautiful songs and other 
musical performances dedicated to and about Christ's birth!
Christian and I sang in our little branch choir, and Gigs' talk was fire.  
We came home and opened our Christmas PJs right away and then
spent the rest of the day (and the next) in them.
Before the sun went down, the girls helped Christian feed the cows,
(with an extra scoop of grain for Christmas!), and Gig's made sure
the chickens went into the hytte for the night.
He, too, gave the ladies a half cantaloupe to nibble 
on for their Christmas treat.
When it was dark, we made our
 traditional Christmas Eve Charcuterie platter.
I plan all the ingredients, and Christian puts it all together.
Paired with my sourdough bread, we have all different kinds of cheeses,
dried and fresh fruit, veggies, olives, jams, jellies, an assortment
of honey, hummus, and crackers.
Around the Christmas tree under candlelight, we enjoyed delicious food
while listening to beautiful Christmas music.
This year, I baked a cinnamon bread shaped like a snowflake 
and topped with cream cheese frosting.
 It tasted amazing, especially when we had it while watching Christmas movies
later that night in the Santa bed.
But best of all was, of course, remembering why we celebrate Christmas
and why it's such a special day.
I shared with my family these beautiful words that
President Holland said in a recent IG post:
"Unless we see all the meaning and joy of Christmas—the whole of Christ’s life, 
His profound mission, the end as well as the 
beginning—then Christmas will be just another day off
 work with food and fun and festivities.
The true meaning—the unique, joyous meaning—of the birth of
 Jesus Christ was not confined to those first hours in Bethlehem
 but would be realized in the life He would lead and in His death, 
in His triumphant atoning sacrifice, and in His prison-bursting Resurrection. 
These are the realities that make Christmas joyful.
This year, let us remember the greatest gift ever given: 
the Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ."

The Nies went to bed upstairs, and Christian and I wrapped gifts
and then went to bed before midnight!  I was shocked!
That has never happened before in our married lives.

Merry Christmas!

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