Pre-Christmas pleasures

  • My community orchestra's annual Messiah sing-along play-along
  • Taking Pip to the dollar store to pick out gifts for everyone
  • A little bit of snow but not too much
  • Red Chief saving for months to buy gifts for the family
  • Pip snacking on the popcorn garland on the Christmas tree
  • Tiger Lily's paper chain and homemade ornaments
  • A book of short stories: A Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis
  • A homemade Christmas card in the mail from an old friend
  • Homemade hot cocoa mix
  • Red Chief's first band concert: all brass, all enthusiasm, all fortissimo
  • Running to the store to buy junk food for the big kids' school Christmas parties
  • Late-night gift-wrapping parties with Mr. Mordecai
  • The basket of Christmas picture books that comes out of storage every December
  • Poinsettia and amaryllis
  • Red Chief trying to explain Santa Claus to Pip: "A big man in a red suit will come down our chimney to give you presents." "That's impossible!" "You'll hang up a sock and he'll fill it with candy." "That's strange."
  • Learning Christmas hymns on the piano
  • The LDS Light the World initiative