Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Searching for the Spirit of Christmas

Temple Square Reflecting Pool
The reflecting pool on Temple Square tells the story of Christmas in twinkling lights.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
― Charles DickensA Christmas Carol

This past year I have been in nearly 30 countries. I have stood on every continent (except Antarctica–maybe next year :). I have been away from home more than I like, more than I should. I have been running as fast as I can, working as hard as I am able. I have had some marvelous, even miraculous experiences. Yet, I would choose to stay home, surrounded by family and friends.

Christmas Lights on Temple Square
Surrounded by thousands of twinkling Christmas lights, the Salt Lake Temple stands as a symbol of faith and hope to more than 15 million Latter-day Saints (Mormons) across the world.

And so it was that our family gathered for Thanksgiving. It was a joyous experience to be with those whom I know love me. The day after Thanksgiving, we all went to Salt Lake City to see the Christmas Lights on Temple Square. As is typical when our family gathers, we were in a hurry. It was cold. We ran through Temple Square trying not to lose each other, trying not to knock anyone over, trying not to lose the Grandparents who wanted to keep up but who kept stopping to enjoy the sights. I barely had time to pull out my camera.

The Color of Christmas
Red, a color of Christmas, lights for the Star of Bethlehem, stone for the Rock of Salvation.

After getting separated, and reconnecting (thanks to cell phones), we ended up at my son and daughter-in-laws apartment drinking egg nog and playing “Apples to Apples.” It was fun, and exhausting, in a good way.

When we returned home, I realized, again, that the joy of Christmas is in keeping it in our hearts and our homes.  I do believe there is a gift, given freely by him, whom we celebrate, that lights our homes, our hearts and our minds, even in the darkest of times.

“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”
― Charles DickensA Christmas Carol

Star of Bethlehem
Soaring above Temple Square, a star shaped display points across time to the Babe of Bethlehem, born in a manger.

Thanksgiving Sunrise

7:45 am, 28 degrees, Thanksgiving morning, 5K run. I was the designated photographer as three of my children dragged me out of bed to take pictures of them running. Annual tradition. Most all of my family converged on our home for Thanksgiving. With so many people staying in our home, there hasn’t been much sleeping going on. I stayed up way too late. I was tired. I was cold. Then, the sun came up. The light hit the mountain tops and I thought about all the places I have been in the world this year, how many frequent flyer miles I have accrued, how many Marriott points I have, and, I was glad. Glad to be home. Home where the cold November mornings chill my breath. Home where the sun shines more often than not and the summer sun shines late and long. Home where my pillow fits my head and my bed has an indentation just my size.  Home where my children come for Sunday dinners. Home where the sun rises over the Wasatch mountains to the east and Lone Peak Mountain lies north. Home, where I’m never lost and always loved. For these things and more I give thanks.

Lone Peak, Wasatch Mountains
Early morning sun shines on Lone Peak, Wasatch Mountains, Utah.