I'm enjoying the first true pause in my schedule in weeks--months perhaps. I left behind my sweet hubby and the residue of post-Thangiving to come to Utah on a book tour/family visit. I do dread returning home next week in the middle of December to pumpkins and turkeys after seeing so much Christmas beauty out here. At least my tree is up.
So it's 5:40 a.m., and I'm sitting on the floor in the spare bedroom at my son and DIL's apartment after awakening to the terrible thought that I wrongly scheduled a post on my blog and therefore have disappointed countless people in the cyber universe. Dates and places I need to be dart through my mind, then I remember that I only have one place to be today, and it's with family.
I pull out the computer. The blog trouble is fixed, the people contacted, my heart rate is lowered, and now I pause. It's sometimes a crazy life...
But oh, how sweet. Yesterday was a lovely day . . . truly lovely. In the late morning my DIL Brittany and I visited with her beautiful, talented aunt, Nichole, the creator of Sterling Obsessions and the gorgeous silver jewelry I commissioned for each of my earlier books. We chatted about life and God and family while Nichole bedazzled out nails. So fun and relaxing.
When we left Provo Canyon and it's beauty, we met Adam for lunch at the Paradise Bakery. Delicious, and fun to sit across the table from these two. They're expecting their first baby and still marvelling over this blessing. Adam is a bit silly and giddy with expectation, like a colt on a warm spring day, and Brittany gazes at him and smiles. Love these moments.
The next stop was Christmas shopping. ( plan to leave Utah having completed the shopping and wrapping for Tom's and Adam's families.) We head to Gateway and I watch as Adam gets excited over the chance to select a new pair of running shoes. Brittany and I cast furtive and worried glances between us because I've already ordered a pair just like the ones he's ogling. Finally, unable to halt his enthusiasm, we tell him the secret, and he beams--he's 28 and he still beams over Christmas. What could be better?
We stop at Brighton Collectibles and I see Brittany eye, pick up, and then set down an item she wants but declines tonight. Adam and I have a Secret Santa-like mind-meld and he lures her away so I can sneak the little bauble away to the register. I can see that this little covert "mission" is as fun for the clerk as it is for me. Mission accomplished, we exit excited and with the magic of Christmas blooming fully in my heart.
But from across town I receive news that another member of my family is suffering over the illness of a loved one, so I'll go there today, remembering that Christmas magic can't fix everything, and that while we need the joy and peace of the season, it's the reason for the season, our Savior Jesus Christ alone who can cure some of the troubles that bedevil us.
The last stop of the night was the Deseret Books' downtown store. There is magic in that store, from the dazzling antique cookie machine in the window, to the magnificent depictions of Christ and the Book Mormon displayed everywhere, to the calming music lilting through the air. Voices are hushed, smiles are reverent as fingers touch precious future gifts. Across the street the lights of Temple Square twinkle and beckon. The scene is like a living Christmas card testifying to the truthfulness of the gospel of Christ. My son marvels over the view and wonders how anyone could see it and not know the Gospel is true . . . it's all true.
I love Salt Lake at Christmastime. I love that it does stand like a light to the world, testifying that on good days and bad, in good times and hard, Christ is the miracle, His Gospel is The Way, and the door is always open.
Thank you for all your support of my work this year. I hope it has touched you in some way and lightened your heart. I wish you each the merriest of Christmases, and pray the blessings of heaven upon you and your family. And may we each pray a little harder for America this year. She needs us, and we and the world need her--strong and pure.