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

(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




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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Announcement: Give the Gift of Exponent II This Christmas

Gift of EXII logoExponent II’s Winter issue will come out after Christmas this year, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t give a beloved sister-friend a subscription for Christmas. Order by December 22nd and our staff will send your loved one a card letting them know of their upcoming gift subscription and who they have to thank. Subscribe here today.

Already have a subscription? Consider getting Exponent II’s Habits of Being: Women’s Material Culture for yourself or someone you love.

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Children’s Nativity Script

Children’s Nativity Script

Here is a simple, readers theater nativity I wrote for my Primary Sharing Time.  I also used it for a Family Home Evening.  Other than Joseph and Mary, all parts are gender-neutral. You may increase the number of parts by having two shepherds, two angels and two wise men/women, as each role has two speaking parts.


Song: Away in a Manger

Children’s Songbook 42



One day, when I was engaged to Joseph but not married yet, an angel came to see me. The angel told me not to be afraid. He said that God had chosen me to have a son named Jesus, who would be the son of God. He told me that with God nothing is impossible. I told the angel that I was willing to do what God wanted me to.


Song: Mary’s lullaby

Children’s Songbook 44

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