"they left us something more precious than silver and gold..."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

i'm not afraid to admit it...

yeah, that's right, i'm not afraid to admit it...admit that as i was taking down christmas decorations, i got all teary eyed. mostly when i started peeling off the cute christmas cards off my cupboards where i post them throughout the month...my eyes were all moist. i can't believe another december has come and gone. i especially luv to hear from all our friends and family and see the special pictures & messages. i know some of you may be thinking, "no she certainly must have been teary eyed because she was CLEANING up the mess & clutter that december sometimes brings into our homes", but if you truly you know me, you know i like to clean (call me Cindy...Relly = Cinderella). the truth is, the christmas spirit is such a special spirit and i hope that it can linger throughout these next 11 months, even if we don't have the tinsel, stockings, christmas nativities, gingerbread houses, candy canes, gift wrapping paper & bows strewn throughout our houses.
we had a great pre-christmas get-together with the kesler's up in blackfoot...we had delicious soup & salad, lots of fun conversation, cousins galore, a late night of zumba up in IF & a drop by visit to my sister-in-law misty's who is due any day with baby #4!, a quick get-a-way to destinations inn for my anniversary & an 80 minute massage (11-years, luv ya cam!), scrumdidliumpsous bundt cakes (cooked by yours truly) - let's just say...they were gone before dinner started :), perfect presents (thanks again marva lu!) and a special family home evening presented by papa kesler himself ("okay kids...lets pretend like you are in church and really try to listen to this message" says the grandpa of 18 grandkids under the age of 8! they really did listen amazingly though!)
christmas eve at the freeze fam...we had such a fun night together...sub sandwiches, chips & dip, our own little sparkling ciders, a great round of "cameron's game", pillowpets & jammies from nanny, classic $10 gift exchange with all the freeze side of the family, some cute presents from mom, and the very traditional reading of the 'night before christmas'...my dad has been doing this same book/audio reading since i was 8 or 9.
"merry christmas to all & to all a good-night!"

looks like we all made the
NICE LIST...
Santy Claus was really good to us this year...
vannah got her american girl doll (complete with many accessories)!
lucy got her snowglobe (if you only knew the obsessions...)
jilly got herself a little rocking chair...
i was also surprised by a beautiful painting by bonnie rochester... santy you shouldn't have, but obviously i am glad you did because i luved it and cried! haha
christmas morning always brings another special tradition and so many memories flood into my heart...my grandpa freeze always felt so grateful for all my grandma did during the month of december and was pretty quick to admit, he didn't do much at all to aid in the hustle and bustle because of his work responsibilities. so to make up for it, every christmas morning he took the family out for lunch/dinner, thus my grandma did not have to cook or worry about cleaning on christmas day. this tradition has continued on throughout the years...as a little girl, i remember hoping to get a special outfit to wear out to lunch and was excited to take one or two of my new presents with me to show my cousins & grandparents. my dad has carried this tradition on, it was great to go out with our family and eat at the marriott. no cooking or cleaning...just great conversation, yummy food, natalie cole playing on the television dad had brought into our private room, planning for the upcoming year, and smiles of relief as we all felt pretty great about pulling another christmas together!
this is one of my favorite pictures of the month...i really do hope the christmas spirit can last with us throughout our 2011 year...here is a great message by Dean Hughes on how to make this possible in your life.

After we put Christmas away…

January is such a great month. It feels downright stimulating to lay off the rich foods, clear the sugar from our veins, work up a sweat on the old stationary bicycle – and feel so righteous about it. January is also that wonderful time when I’ve worn out my desire to go to the mall ever again. Every day that I don’t charge a penny on my credit card, I feel like I’m bringing a healthy balance back to my life & checkbook. (SO much joy for doing so little!). It’s that dark, cold time of the year (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), when we may feel some cabin fever, but sleep comes so naturally. It’s great to go to bed a littler earlier, turn on the electric blanket, and curl up like a big old bear (we’ve even stored up the extra fat to sustain us through the hibernation). I just hope, as we throw out the dried-up Christmas tree and store away all our decorations, that we don’t put away Christmas entirely—that is the best part of Christmas.

We seem to care more for others during the holidays and make special effort to express those feelings with our cards, our greetings, our donations to those who are not as blessed as we are. And then, for some reason, we act almost as though those expressions were part of our over-indulgence, and we seem to withdraw to a spirit that isn’t nearly as generous. It almost seems as though we’re a little embarrassed now, in the cold of winter, for all that warmth we shared. Do we think it got a little too cheesy, a little too over the top? What is we took a treat – a healthy one – to all our neighbors now or in April or September? Would people think we had gotten all weird on them or something? How did we get started with the idea that we should be what we really ought to be in December and then pull back and wait again for eleven months?

I remember a United Way director who said that Americans love to buy turkey for a single mom with kids at Thanksgiving or Christmas, even though she would be helped much more by a case of peanut butter in August – and that’s when no one thinks about her. Interesting. “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie. Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent…” It sounded good, didn’t it? When I was a bishop, I once had our chorister do all Christmas songs during a sacrament meeting in July. I told our members that we always say that we want to keep the spirit of Christmas with us all year, but we won’t work very hard to do it. The songs were just a little reminder. Maybe we should sing them all year.

To celebrate Christ’s birthday, we eat too much and spend too much, and we feel guilty about it. It feels good to return to some austerity. We vow not to get so carried away next year. Suppose we actually did that? Suppose we cut back on some of the eating & spending next year but began right now to spread out the spiritual side of Christmas to every month of our year? It may sound a little too idealistic, but don’t we actually know people who do just that? The fact is, there are those around us who need us every month of the year, and we need them. We also need Christ – his Spirit – with us, always. I think this should be the year we make some changes. Let’s do this year right, and then make next Christmas the fitting conclusion to a year full of kindness & generosity. I’m serious. We can do it.

14 comments:

Shelli said...

Cami, I love your post-Christmas review, and that you got teary taking down Christmas. And I love the message from Dean Hughes. I want to steal it. We MUST get together in January. Missing you guys!!! Love you.

Shelli said...

Me again...I'm curious about Bonny Rochester---how you came to know her art. What's your story, and how did you come to love it like you do?

KESLER KREW...Cami said...

shelli! steal away...i really luv his message on what we "ought to be" the whole year through! of course, no one is perfect but it's something to progress towards!

i met bonnie at a convention in arizona...i honestly don't even remember what it was for - i think a fall harvest / crafts show? - but she had a booth with her artwork. my nursing mentor, pam storto, luved her work and i feel in luv with bonny, her backround and her strong christian faith. in every one of her paintings she includes a bible verse...hidden somewhere...along the bricks that outline a garden, a mailbox post, etc. i just really connected to her simple, country chic paintings...they kinda remind you when times were simpler and slower. she personalizes each one and writes a sweet message on the back as well. we didnt have much money obviously when we were in med school but cam let me splurge on one of her smaller paintings and ive just kinda cherished it in my own quiet way. needless to say, i was in shock christmas morning when cam surprised me with the painting "quilts in bloom". he had it personalized for savannah (in the garden it reads 'Savannah's garden')...so maybe it will be a heirloom for her one day :)

temple trip in january? or game night? let's do it!

KESLER KREW...Cami said...

Me again...plus you know im obsessed with quilts, so another reason i luv her paintings!

Shelli said...

Cami, I LOVE that connection you have with Bonny R. No wonder you love her work! And how sweet that Cam had it personalized with Savannah's name. I would have cried too. I'm telling you--that guy is a keeper! But I love stories like that---people that we connect with who have extraordinary talents that bless and enrich our lives. Love it. Thanks for sharing. p.s. where is that quote from Dean Hughes found? is it in one of his books? I need to paste it on my wall. :)

Shelli said...

One more thing! Glad you delved into the world of the New Year's Elf! Like I've said before, my kids love it because no one they know has that tradition, so they feel it's pretty unique and cool to our family. The elf was pretty tired this year, though, I think, so it was pretty low key. All he left in the kids' shoes was a chocolate orange and a five dollar bill. Usually there are a few more trinkets and gidgets, but I guess he figured they could buy their own! haha. McKay even left out three pairs of shoes in hopes of some extra loot, but the elf caught on to his trickery tactics pretty quickly. ;)

Angie said...

So glad Miss Lucy got her snow globe!

Angie said...

Oh and would you come take down my tree? I don't care if you cry!

KESLER KREW...Cami said...

shelli - it is from one of the women's conference books, i have it on a word doc if you want me to email it to you!??!!

angie- i'll only come take down your tree if i can wear nacho spandex while doing it :)...plus now i am too busy crying over my new calling :) hahaha!

Shelli said...

I would love for you to email that doc to me if you don't mind...I love it!! Thanks, Cam. And how IS that new calling going? I will cry with you and for you. But...you will be awesome, no doubt! They will love you!

Rosanne said...

Once again, I love it. I check out quite a few blogs...but yours I actually make sure I read EVERY word. (Others, I just skim and look at the pictures.) Thank you for sharing all that you share. It's beautiful. Happy New Year - here's to a wonderful 2011!

KESLER KREW...Cami said...

Shelli - consider it done! yeah ive been pretty overwhelmed these past couple days in particular but ive been praying hard for peace of mind.

rosanne - k, that is really sweet of you! i hope we get to run into you guys some time when you are having a kesler get together with landon & s! i luv to check your blog as well, keep the updates and pics coming...life gets busy huh??!!

Cath said...

Cami - that last picture is just delicious. takes my breath away. Looks like the perfect Christmas in so many ways. And the DH quote is sage to be sure. Thank you!

ps - Pillow pets. Fill me in. My girls are begging for them! Are they really all that? Or have they been abandoned by now?

Jaymie said...

o cami.. im not afraid to admit.. i haven't taken my christmas down yet!! love you lady, so glad i got to see you for a minute!