Saturday, January 1, 2011

Living the High Life & Feeling The True Spirit of Christmas

 Dec. 19, 2010
The rain nearly took-out our Thanksgiving parade in town. We had so much fun and really my grandson, Tanner, stole the show while playing the part of "Sparky The Fire Dog" Our real Santa was wonderful and stayed for such a long time for each child in town. Santa is a very special man.

Everyday in December was an important program, devotional, event, party, or just plain work. It was very hard to make all the appointments, meetings, and the wonderful things that were lined-up for us to attend.

It started to rain and rain so super hard I honestly didn't think there was a "chance in the world" that I or any of the family members to attend the Parade of Lights at the Ventura Harbor. The harder it rained the more hesitant I became. I have that feelings occasionally and it usually means I'm going to really miss-out, and with that thinking, I asked my mother to go with us to the parade.

This wasn't just any parade. My husband was honored to be a judge of decorated yachts and he was going if it was gale force winds and waves breaking over the jettys. The parade has only been canceled twice in thirty-nine years. The harbor master, Scott Miller is a super likable and really one of the most qualified and definitely a super people-person. We all like him a lot!

Best Harbor Master: Scotty

Parade Theme Was: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Half of my grown children, my mother, Steve and I, and ten grandchildren all went. The ages of the kids were thirteen to three and we not only had the largest group, but it would have had a hard time getting the food eaten without us. Steve and I were invited to be treated to dinner and then ride around in the Harbor and Marina after the parade to see the decorated piers, The Ventura Keys, and also the fireworks. This year Scotty wanted us to bring our kids. It was such a wonderful treat. We have watched it all together, but we had Mexican Street tacos (hot) and cocoa and all the goodies that go with a wonderful dessert.

We arrived and the big tent to feed the group was flooded, ankle-deep in water so we were moved to the upper-conference room with the Grinch Movie playing over and over on a big screen. We thought it would be fun to eat by lantern on the Harbor Master's upstairs deck. It was pouring hard, but we dressed for the wind and rain. I think the turn-out of the invited guests was less because of their assumption was that it would be canceled or couldn't bear to walk so far. We didn't know that a shuttle was provided and we even had an elevator to get to the tall deck and conference room.

The boats were beautiful and Scotty said that this year was especially good because the weather kept out the weasels and party boats and we got to see the BEST! The participants had been working weeks and weeks on their entries and the rain even made everything brighter and just sparkle in the sky and reflections in the water. I found myself  "hooting" and clapping at the boats as they cruised by the judge's stand. I even waved my lantern. I embarrassed my grandkids. Oh well, that's what grandmas are for, huh?

This is me

The guests that were there were fancy people that's for sure. People talking of world travels, land acquisitions and new yachts and new destinations. "Going to Newport for the holidays?" or getting warm by flying to Tahiti. We were outta' our league completely. All of us made sure we thanked Scotty for the outstanding time we had this evening. Wonderful!

I watched the whole Grinch movie (in pieces) and came away from the movie so surprised a movie that I had maybe known a little about, but didn't see the DVD. I just thought it was a "little kid" show. I was watching the movie while the family when out in the harbor. I'm the sea-sick person. I almost cried at the ending of the movie. It was odd in the caritcutures of the family and places, but the message was wonderful. I was not surprised when I heard that President Uchtdorf,
Second Counselor to our beloved Prophet talk about The Grinch Movie at the Christmas Devotional for the Church, and was held on Dec. 5th. I saw Devotional just after the parade, because we had a Children's program that same night.

President Uchtdorf asked,“Who among us has not felt concern over the commercialization and even greed of the Christmas season? Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed by the packed calendars, the stress of finding gifts, the pressure of planning meals and events?”

He said, “We know what the Christmas season ought to be,” President Uchtdorf quoted Grinch, “We know it should be a time of reflection on the birth of the Savior, a time of celebration and of generosity. But sometimes our focus is so much on the things that annoy and overwhelm us that we can almost hear ourselves say in unison with the Grinch, ‘Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with this now. I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! . . . But HOW?’” Of course, he went on to tell us just how we can enjoy, remember and reflect. He said, "“powerful message of the birth of the Son of God, and to feel the hope and peace that He brings to the world. We, like the Grinch, can see Christmas through new eyes.”

President Uchtdorf gave us three ways we can accomplish "The True Christmas"
  • Rejoice in the Savior’s birth.
  • Ponder the Savior’s influence in our lives today.
  • Look steadfastly for the Savior’s coming.
"By doing these things and looking for the good in the season, “we can see this time of year with new eyes—perhaps even with the eyes of a child.” Then, he said, perhaps our hearts, like the Grinch’s heart, will change as we look beyond the worldly aspect of Christmas and come to understand and refocus on the true meaning of Christmas."
 We are going to do this, this season. Rejoice in our family for the Savior birth and make it the way we wish Christmas to be to us, but somehow misses the mark in the planning. We need the food, the presents, attend everything, visit everyone, send all the cards and even the process of trying to make everyone happy and every single gift fair and even, for all. We carry so much stress that we ourselves become very wrinkled-up frowning Grinches  Not me, Not Steve this year.

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