Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Beofre starting the movie, please pause the music above.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Meanings of Christmas

I got this from Krysta's page and Loved it! Thought I would share!

Late one Christmas Eve I sank into my easy chair. Admiring the tree with its decorations, I couldn't help but feel that something was missing... The kids were in bed, the gifts were all wrapped, the milk and cookies were in their place for Santa. It wasn't long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me into a deep sleep.I don't know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I opened my eyes and there stood Santa Claus himself next to my Christmas tree.He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him. But he was not the "jolly old elf" of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed with tears in his eyes.I had to ask, "Santa, what's wrong? Why are you crying?" "It's the children," Santa replied sadly. "But the children love you," I said. "Oh, I know they love me and the gifts I bring them," Santa said. "But the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It's not their fault. It's just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children.""Teach them what?" I asked. Santa's kind old face became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears. He spoke softly. "Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see, hear and touch is much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas we now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent."Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it on the fireplace mantle. "Teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen with its unchanging color represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that man's thoughts should turn heavenward as well."Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. "The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise of the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises and that the wise will still seek Him.""Red," said Santa, "is the first color of Christmas." He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. "Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God's greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave His life and shed his blood for them that they might have eternal life. When they see the color red it should remind them of that most wonderful gift."Santa found a bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. "Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep."Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. "The glow of the candle represents how man can show his thanks for the gift of God's Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children to follow in Christ's footsteps... to go about doing good. Teach them to let their lights shine before men that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkling lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God's precious children, their light shining for all to see."Again, Santa reached into his bag and this time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped candy cane. As he hung it on the tree, he spoke softly, "The candy cane is a stick of hard, white candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus. The shape 'J' to represent the precious name of Jesus who came to earth as our Savior. It also represents the crook of the Good Shepherd which he uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus so that we can have eternal life. Teach these things to the children."Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh fragrant greenery and tied with a bright red bow. "The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ's sacrifice. Even the wreath's very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ's love. It is a circle without beginning and without end. These are the things you must teach the children.""But where does that leave you Santa?" I asked. The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa's face. "Why, bless you, my dear," he laughed. "I, too, am only a symbol. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I'll ever be forgotten.""I think I'm beginning to understand at last," I replied. That's why I came," said Santa. "If you don't teach the children these things, then who will?"Author Unknown

Monday, December 15, 2008

Taiwan's Christmas Nativity

This last weekend, the 14th and 15th, we had the 8th annual nativity put on by the English Ward here in Taipei. Okay, so this is a huge thing here because there really isn't much Christmas here. So, we had 4 showings of it, 2 each day with the seats filled and people standing all around watching. It was at the Tienmu sports park. It was a lot of fun. I have never been able to be a part of it before but Michael had as a missionary. He loved it.

This year, the bishop put me in charge of it as the Director, I thought this was silly seeings how I have NEVER even seen a movie of the past years of it, but oh well. I guess he figured it was in my background anyways, with the planning and all. Anyways, It ended up being such a great experience for me and a little bit of a test of my self confidence. I have to admit, even though I normally do not EVER ask for help with anything when I need it, I would have died if I would not have ask the bishop's wife to help me out. She is the most amazing women ever. If you saw her in action you would totally understand. She managed to help me to understand how things worked and to do her part in everything all at once. (Someday I will be like that too! I hope!)

It was such a great experience to be apart of something so special and to remind people of the true reason for the Celebration. It is too easy to to get caught up in the commercial side of the holiday that we forget why we celebrate it in the first place. It is sad that now in the states people are now saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas!" The Stores are not allowed to have things like this in there store. They are taking Christ out of the Holiday that is ment for him. So, hopefully, as we all Celebrate we will remember the true reason for the season and take a moment to share it with our family and friends, to read the story about our Saviors birth on Christmas day, that we will remember to say "Happy Birthday Jesus!"

Here are a few of the pictures!