The Exponent Christmas Series: The Posts of Christmas Past…

We love Christmas here at the Exponent, which means we love Christmas posts!

noelBecause of this love, we are dedicating this week to a Christmas Series, complete with poetry, ward Christmas party hints, an excellent Christmas Nativity play, and even a Christmas book review, plus lots of love for the women who celebrated the First Christmas, Exponent Style. But it won’t end this week, we will sprinkle flakes of Christmas cheer throughout all of December, in celebration of Christmas,

“But wait!” You say, “This week is American Thanksgiving! We want Tofurky recognition!”

We know!  We do, too! We love American Thanksgiving …and Canadian Thanksgiving, and Australian Thanksgiving and any time a Thanksgiving Feast is offered.  (“Thanksgiving” was a term used in a celebratory feast when voyagers arrived at far off destinations, and was even a term used among Mormons at the completion of a new chapel’s construction.) So we are still having some delicious Thanksgiving posts as a part of the Christmas Series, to round out the season properly, rather like a nutmeg-sprinkled happy sip of egg nog.

But before this series of fresh Christmas posts begin, we invite you to visit the ghosts of Christmas posts past. So, sit down, grab a cup of cocoa (or iced chocolate for those in the Southern Hemisphere) and put your feet up. Because we have some magical Posts of Christmas Past for you, such as:

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Relief Society Lesson 25: The Birth of Jesus Christ: “Good Tidings of Great Joy”

Click for French Translation/Traduction en français
Click for Spanish Translation/Traducción en español
Mary nativity

Mary nativity

 

To quote the Teachings of Joseph F. Smith manual:

“There is no story quite as beautiful, or which can stir the soul of the humble quite to the depths, as this glorious story can of the birth of our Redeemer. No words that man may utter can embellish or improve or add to the eloquence of its humble simplicity. It never grows old no matter how often told, and the telling of it is by far too infrequent in the homes of men.”

If I were teaching this lesson, I would do exactly – talk of the birth of Christ.  And not of the shepherds, or Joseph, or the wise men, but the person who was the intimately and physically involved in the birth of Christ: Mary.  In my experience at Christmas-time at church, we often want to gloss over the experiences of Mary as the mother and life-giver in favor of celebrating Christ and the meaning of his life and teachings.  I don’t think this is necessarily inappropriate, but since we (hopefully) devote the other 51 weeks of our Sunday worship to the teachings of Christ, I’d like to talk a little about the brave woman who gave Christ life.

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Guest Post: Managing Life’s Winters

Amish in Winter by Evan Tye PetersonGuest Post by Shelli

It was 16 years ago. The 21st of December was a typical New England winter day with snow and ice already making their regular appearance, and I was writing a talk. However, this was not an ordinary talk I was preparing. Not a neatly packaged sacrament sermon or a personal testimony. Rather, through a torrent of tears and profound sorrow, I was summoning God for hope and peace through words, as we buried one of our beloved young women. Not only was it winter, but it was truly a season of death and sadness that came with a jolting chill to my soul, and to the souls of all who loved Oeun.

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Perpetuating the Santa Claus Myth

Perpetuating the Santa Claus Myth

Santa ClausWhen my daughter asked me about the veracity of Santa Claus, I told her that I like to pretend that Santa Claus is real because it is such a fun thing to imagine.  She seemed fine with that.  Although we continue the Santa tradition in my household, I sometimes question the wisdom of speaking untruths to my children, even if it is fun to pretend the magic is real. My husband and I have chosen to give our children their main Christmas presents as gifts from us, so that they understand that we parents are the ones who worked and saved to buy their presents, while Santa only delivers stocking stuffers.

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Nativity: A Letter to My Son


na·tiv·i·ty
(n -t v -t , n -). n. pl. na·tiv·i·ties. 1. Birth, especially the place, conditions, or circumstances of being born.

Dear Luke,

You’re a grown man, turning thirty tomorrow. But every year around this time I see you again as you were–your tiny form making a manger of a down pillow. I was twenty-two and you were my sixteen-day-old Christmastime Baby. I felt so very Mary-like. Maybe that’s why I love Virgin De Guadalupe candles and statues and all things Holy Mother. I seemed to understand her and would forever be connected to her because of you.

You had awakened in the wee hours. I nursed you, gently laid you in the pillow I’d brought from the bed, then moved us both to the floor near the Christmas tree. I lay my head near yours beneath the glow of twinkle lights on pine branches. You slept. I wept. I loved you more than I could say. Still do.

This poem is always the first thing out of my mouth when someone asks me to recite. This poem, that night, a young mother and her newborn child. Thank you for being born. Thank you for being my son.

Love, Mom

 

122410jesus“Nativity”

 

No wise men came

when my son was born–

ten days before the Holy One.

 

There was no star,

no bleating sheep.

No one traveled far.

 

But there was an angel–

spoke of Light and Love.

My newborn son, like Hers,

brought hope.

 

Melody Newey © 1983

 

 

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