I just want to say it was so good to talk with you all for Christmas. Even though I had to call early, it was still the best Christmas present I have ever received! I couldn't be more proud to say I am part of the most amazing family! :)
Well, Christmas is in about 2 days (totally freaking out right now). But, it doesn't quite feel the same. There are no Christmas lights, no snow, and no Christmas music in the stores. But no matter what country I am in, the meaning of Christmas will always be the same. It's not all about the lights, presents, and music. It's about remembering the birth of the one who gave us hope. Without our Savior Jesus Christ there would be no way possible for us to return to live in heaven again. One thing I have learned on the mission during this Christmas season is there is no better feeling than to serve those around you. Service is the true happiness. Now, that is my type of fun :) Ha!
For my Christmas gift to you, I have made a list of some of my greatest Christmas memories.
--- I remember the first year we did the "Jesus Box". I was young and didn't understand the meaning of Christmas. After reading all the gifts that we gave to Jesus on Christmas I felt my testimony and love for Him grow.
--Traveling to Alabama for Christmas to spend with Grandma and Papa. I remember our family taking time in the night to finish the Book of Mormon. This moment I learned what is most important in life.
--One year I was Mary and Brent was the donkey. I think after that year my role as Mary was taken by somebody much smaller ;)
--Making a fort every year! And about 75% of the years, the fort fell down in the middle of the night.
--Last Christmas going sledding with the family behind our house. Somehow it ended up bad and Dad sent Jackson home...ha!!
--Drinking orange juice in the morning before we can see all the presents. (This tradition everyone asks, "why"? My response is always the same: "Because it's a tradition, I don't know why".)
--THE STICKY BUNS!!
--Temple Square lights with the family. And dad trying to take 1000 pictures. ha!!
--One year waiting for Santa to come but I couldn't sleep because Dad and the uncles were busy playing Halo all night....hmmm.
--Dropping off presents to a family who didn't have much with the young men and women in the ward, and then watching watching their faces light up and cry as we sang hymns.
--Building snowmen in the front yard and trying to make it all cute with carrots, scarves, and no leaves...
--Hot Chocolate, Apple Cider, Bread Bowls, the list goes on.
--Choosing Sub-for Santa every year and then for family night going to pick out the gifts together. I remember being so embarrassed taking pictures so we could send them to pap in the middle of the store. Humiliation.
--Singing "Once in Royal David's City"..all seven verses with the family.
--Trying to guess the Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa Bird every year...but always knowing that the family calendar will be included :)
--Last but not least, my favorite memory has to be spending Christmas with the people I love most. Hope you all enjoy Christmas back home in good old Highland Utah. Enjoy the time together! :)
Well, there you have it. A few of my greatest memories during Christmas time! I am so lucky to have a family that knows the true meaning of Christmas and who has taught me to serve others especially during this season. I will never forget it!
Okay, one last quick story about something I did yesterday to bring the Christmas spirit. We were sitting on the bus at around 8:45 traveling home to our apartment. A mom and her 2 kids sat down in front of us. One of the little girls turned and smiled at me. I reached into my bag and pulled out two HLJ rings. I leaned over the bar and told her I had a gift for her. I explained what the rings were and then had her promise she would always choose the right. She promised, smiled, and then hurried to give her sister the other ring. They quickly opened them up and put them on their fingers. The mom then leaned over and asked "What does HLJ stand for?" I explained and she thought that was so sweet.
I leaned over the bar and showed the girl that I have a ring as well, but it is in English CTR. We said our "chaos" and our "Feliz Navidads" and then hopped off the bus with grins on our faces. It's little things like this that make my heart happy.
This past Sunday I got to explain to 2 girls ages 6 and 8 who Jesus Christ is and why we celebrate Christmas. I hope you all remember our Savior and what He did for us this Christmas season!
Love you all!!
-- Cami Fox FOR GETTING ENGAGED! Ah, your ring is stunning!
-- Lauren Eastman FOR GETTING CALLED TO SERVE IN NEW YORK, NY!! Seriously couldn't be a call more perfect for you.