I’ve been thinking alot about family, specifically, at this time of the year. My dad is gone, and Dillon&Renae are in the mission, which leaves Mom and Madison who are coming out on Sunday and I am overjoyed to have my family sort of here. Today is my dads birthday even. My day was sort of long and I’m excited for mom and madi to get here. Luckily I have the best husband in the world. Not even kidding. He is my complete soulmate. So that definitely helps the long days♡

Everyone goes to their families house for Christmas somewhere. Some travel away from home, some to Grandpa’s down the road, and others host in their own cozy house. This Christmas is the first one together for some new couples (it’s our third 😌), or it may be the 43rd Christmas at the old home place. Regardless, lots of traveling and eating and gifting and sledding and caroling is done around the Conference at this time of year. It paints a beautiful picture, doesn’t it?

Then there are the people of the different congregations who can’t afford to go to Mom’s this year. There are older couples whose children can’t make it home for Christmas. There is the single Mom with children that really doesn’t have a place to go for Christmas Day because the rest of the family is in Manitoba. What do all these people do for Christmas? Do each of us think of them in passing and then push them out of our minds with the thought that ” I just want to be with my family alone for Christmas because we are finally all together!” We live at a time when more than ever we should be sharing our blessings with our friends and neighbors, yet this Christmas, there will be the “poor” people from this congregation or that congregation who are just home because we are too busy or too full or too selfish just to invite another few people into our private “family deal.”

I remember living in Center when it was still a small congregation and Thanksgiving and Christmas would find a potluck lunch at school for everyone so there would be no one left out. That’s a pretty amazing benefit of a small congregation where you are a melting pot of people and don’t have 4 family Christmases with all sides of the family that you are with all year long already. I loved those days at Center because lots of people had young families and everyone got together and had a good time. Happy Days.

So now, I ENCOURAGE you to use this Christmas how God used it, and give the best gift you have by reaching out and sharing with those who just need loving. Do it. It will be the most beautiful feeling. And what a way to start the new year for the people you DO invite into your “family”. They will feel loved. And that is why we are here. Merry Christmas.