By Cindy R. Williams
I hope each of you had the wonderful Christmas you hoped and planned for. Ours was lovely --though different. It was a Christmas of finally understanding some things, including what many of my friends have been saying, because this year I walked in some of their high heels, pumps, loafers, boots, sandles, flip flops, slip-ons, keds and slippers.
This was my first year with a child on a mission. My son left on October 14th--and yes, I know exactly how many days he has been gone. The Brazilian Missionaries visas took about 18 weeks from day of application, so they studied in the Provo MTC instead of the MTC in Brazil. They finally flew to Brazil on December 22. I now understand the excitement about "waiting for the Missionary phone call on Christmas." I also understand how much I love this brave young man who will always be my baby boy. Good thing he can't read this or I would get the "Oh, Mom, do you have to call me that" lecture.
One of my daughters got married in the Mesa Temple this past May. This was the first time she wasn't here all night, and up and ready to go in the early morning. I now understand what it is to begin the empty nest sydrome. I say begin, because I'm happy there are still three more at home.
My husband's engineering firm took a nose dive along with the economy. I know I can do hard things and have a sense of humor. You laugh or you cry. I choose to laugh. I now understand what my husband has been saying all these years when he told me we should cut back and enjoy what Christmas is really about. He was right. This Christmas was full of the real Christmas Spirit, our Lord Jesus Christ.
My Christmas tree did not get decorated until Christmas Eve Day. It's usually twinklefied by Thanksgiving. I now understand that it's okay to not be the first one on the block with all things Christmas.
I didn't finish making my annual to-die-for Christmas Fudge to hand out until two days before Christmas. I now understand it's okay to be a bit slow. It all gets done, and there really is no need to rush --less stressful too.
I sent some Christmas Cards out this year via email. I guess you could say I went green this year. I understand that may be the way of the future, but I really do like a card, a picture and even the update letters, some clever, some hoky. They are really quite heart warming.
I understand that it's okay to give yourself a nap for Christmas. I loved it.
I understnad how lucky I am to have so many good friends as examples and for paving the way.
The thing I understand best is that my Father in Heaven knows my name and loves me. This knowledge brings me peace. I have a Savior who loves me too, and it is wonderful to celebrate his birth, even though I understand he was really born in April. ;o)