The drive this morning was through this frosty winter wonderland. No snow yet, just beautiful frost!
Loveliness at the end of the church hallway:
Sister Boehmer, Sister Lowham, Sister Judd, Sister Castle and Sister Fox:Sisters Boehmer, Judd and Castle are Companions, serving in the Ephrata 2nd Ward and Sister Lowham and Sister Fox are companions, serving in the Ephrata 1st Ward.
Sister Boehmer: On Christmas Eve we make and eat lots of treats and watch The Grinch. We can pick any present we want to open on Christmas Eve. When we wake up, in the morning, we get to open our stockings while we wait for our parents to wake up. We spend the day relaxing, watching movies and having a ham dinner. This year I will be home, so I’ll make a cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
Sister Judd: On Christmas Eve we go to grandma’s and watch Rodeo Team Roping in the arena while we visit with our grandma and aunts (the boys do the roping). Then we have Mexican food–tamales, tacos, salsa, etc. at my Aunt’s house. In the evening we watch Nacho Libre, then do a Christmas pageant, acting out the Nativity. In the morning we open presents with my siblings, then we have a big family breakfast with pancakes, eggs and bacon with all the family. We usually have a missionary phone call, then spend the day at grandma’s with a big ham dinner. This year I will learn more about who Jesus is and the things he taught.
Sister Castle: Every year we get an ornament representing something we did that year, then we gather together as a family and put them on the tree in order. On Christmas Eve we take turns guessing presents, writing our guesses down, then on Christmas we see how close we are! On Christmas morning we go to IHOP, then open gifts, eat, open more gifts, and eat. This is my dad’s deal with Santa: “You don’t bring a puppy, I don’t shoot your reindeer!” This year I will remember Jesus by actually doing Light the World and reading more about His life and writing down what I can do to become more Christlike.Sister Lowham: On Christmas Eve we make sugar cookies and frost them for Santa. Then we watch the Christmas Story video. Sometimes we work on puzzles. When we were little we slept in blanket forts. On Christmas Eve we open one present (usually a game or a video). In the morning we eat monkey bread, open stockings and watch videos. We wait until afternoon to open the presents when everyone is here. Christmas dinner is tri-tip and ham with pretzel salad. This year I’ll remember Jesus by working on my Christ-like attributes.
Sister Fox: We do 1000 piece puzzles throughout the Christmas season. We also go to see Christmas lights at the Mesa Temple. They have Nativities and a gallery. We get hot chocolate afterwards. Our Christmas dinner is ham and we have sparkling cider. This year I will actively participate in Light the World and study His life in the scriptures.
Elder Ramirez and Elder Beaumont, serving in the Ephrata 3rd Ward Spanish GroupElder Ramirez: My mom decorates early in November. On Christmas Eve we drive around and look at lights, then Dad narrates the Christmas Story and mom and we all add in, singing Christmas songs that go with the story. Then we debate what time to wake up in the morning. Christmas morning we get to eat boxed cereal (the only time of the year we get to). We open gifts after a picture on the staircase. We open gifts slowly, in order, giving thanks each time. We have a competition to see who gets the most (mom usually wins). Then we play and watch video games (which we only get to do on major holidays at my house). This year being away from family will allow me to focus on my relationship with Christ instead of all the regular traditions.
Elder Beaumont: We put up lights, watch Hallmark movies, have dinner with grandparents, and take snow trips to go sledding (Shaver Lake in California). We always get a chocolate orange in the toe of our stocking. This year I’ll focus on Light the World.
Elder Hunt and Elder North, Zone Leaders in Ephrata, serving in the Ephrata 3rd WardElder Hunt: The first FHE in December, we put up a manger. All month we add straw every time we do service for family members. We draw a name each week and focus on that person. On Christmas Eve we make homemade eggnog and watch The 3 Amigos movie. Then we read the Christmas Story and open one gift–PJs, then we go to bed. Christmas morning we take a picture on the stairs, then open gifts, going around the circle. This year I’ll remember Jesus by participating in Light the World.
Elder North: Christmas Eve we go visit all the widows in our ward and bring them banana bread. While we are out visiting, my dad has a big truck with 6 tons of ice delivered to our front yard. The ice is put through a wood chipper and we have fake fluffy snow in sunny California! We get out sleds and make snowball makers and play in it! It’s usually lasts a few days. One year even the mayor came to see our yard! In the evening we go to the Orange Circle Train and talk to Santa. In the morning we open presents. Every one has the same paper for each of their gifts. We open oldest to youngest, then eat Swedish pancakes “Egg Thing.” This year I’ll be doing Light the World every single day and finishing my New Year’s Resolutions.