There are so many things I love about Christmas, but I'll try to keep it to the top five.
5) I love going to the movies at Christmas time. And this year there are so many wonderful films to choose from. Last night I saw Saving Mr. Banks. What a wonderful movie! I remembered going to see Mary Poppins when I was a child. For years we sang the songs that became famous from the film. Saving Mr. Banks gives you a behind the scene look at the author of the beloved Mary Poppins books, P. L. Travers, and how Walt Disney tried for 20 years to get her to let him make the book into a movie. Though this is not a truly historical account, I'm sure the flavor of what happened has been captured. I loved getting a peak at how the Sherman brothers came up with some of the cherished tunes we have all become familiar. This movie brought tears to my eyes, which doesn't happen that often. Children wouldn't care for it because it deals with issues adults struggle with like memories of things that have happened in our past that have shaped us into who we are.
But a wonderful kid movie that is out right now is . . .
Frozen. What a magical movie. This new Disney animation is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen. I'm so glad to see Disney doing what they do best. This is a story about two princesses. Elsa possesses cryokinetic powers, and one night as she and her little sister, Anna, were playing she injures Anna. Her parents seek the help of the troll people, who heal Anna and in so doing remove her memories of her sister's powers. To protect both sisters, the king and queen separate the girls. The king and queen die at sea during a storm and three years later the people of Arendelle prepare to coronate Elsa as their queen, but, of course, things go wrong . . . If you get the chance, go see this great animated film that is bound to become a classic.
4) I love putting up Christmas decorations. It isn't always easy, but I love the finished product. The house is filled with warm glowing Christmas lights, garland, nutcrackers, Nativities, and all things Christmas.
3) I love Christmas carols. Some of my favorite CDs are: The Carpenters' Christmas, Michael Buble's Christmas, Bing Crosby's Christmas Songs, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's Country Christmas, and my favorite . . . Nat King Cole singing The Christmas Song. But I love so many more that I couldn't possibly list them all here.
2) I love making Christmas cookies.
Here's my grandson helping me with the gingerbread men. It's so much fun and the house smells fantastic. I make all sorts of cookies that have become a tradition in my family: Magic Bar cookies, Almond Crescents, and German Shortbread to name a few.
And the number 1 thing I love about Christmas . . . well it's actually two--being together with family and remembering our Savior's birth.
My grandson made this cute paper manger with the baby Jesus inside.
Here's the family enjoying the lights on Temple Square. The night we went my son, Ben, was unable to be with us, but come Christmas Eve we will all be together reading the Christmas story.
I'm sure you have things that you love about Christmas. I've love to hear about your traditions and how you celebrate this time of year.
I'm going to take a couple of weeks off for the holidays. But come the first week in January I'll have a review of a new book that will be out by then. It's a keeper.