Sunday, December 18, 2011

I don't know, if there'll be snow, but have a cup of Cheer.

I love Christmas. I really do. It brings out the mushy side of me that I scoff the other times of the year. I have a very spiritual belief of Christmas. I come from a very strong religious background, so to me, Christmas really is about the birth of the lord and savior, Jesus Christ, who I have a strong testimony of. 
I have quoted this before in my blog, but I truly believe the greatest thing Charles Dickens ever wrote was "A Christmas Carol." This story enthralls me every year when I read through it, pulled by Dicken's words through the streets of London and through the life of Ebenezer Scrooge as this man has a true change of heart. But Dickens says something in his story through the character of Scrooge's nephew that touches me every time I hear it. 

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which
I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew: "Christmas among the
rest.  But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has
come round--apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if
anything belonging to it can be apart from that--as a good time: a kind,
forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long
calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to
open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if
they were really fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of
creatures bound on other journeys.  And therefore, uncle, though it has never
put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe it has done me good,
and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"

It makes me sad when I go out at Christmas time and hear people being so rude and coarse and unkind. I try to be especially kind to people during this time, especially those in retail and food services. :\ They seem to get all the brunt of people's rudeness at this time. I try to wish everyone I come in contact with a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holidays. And I'm always sad when they seem surprised that someone would wish them that.

I am grateful for my knowledge of the gospel and the knowledge I have not only of the miracle of Christ's birth, but of his life and the things he taught and the miracles he performed. I am grateful for the writings of Isaiah who have inspired some of the most beautiful music ever written.

But I also love the fun parts of Christmas. My traditions of course include reading A Christmas Carol (I've never found a play or movie that did the book justice.)

 going to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert:

But I also have some movies and tv episodes that always get watched every Christmas as a tradition for myself. I must say, I do watch shows like Grinch and It's a Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown Christmas and such, but my favorites are as follows:

Invader Zim's the most Horrible X-mas Ever
This is for my darker side, and is really weird dark humor. But if you love Zim, you know how twistedly funny of a Christmas episode this is!

Roswell's Christmas Carol
This was one of my favorite TV shows through High School and College. But the Christmas episode is still a really sweet, episode. And for those who have seen it, you know the best line is when the harsh, doubtful, skeptic, Michael says, "If there is a God, please help us." I love this show.

What is not to love about this show? Best movie Will Ferrel ever made. (Shortly followed by Anchorman) but This show is just SO FUNNY. It really cracks me up so much.

One Magic Christmas
If you haven't seen this, you should. See if Netflix has it. Makes me cry every time. My mother and I love this movie so much.

White Christmas
What else do I need to say? This is one of my favorite Christmas movies. I've already watched it about ten times this year. The last 15 minutes just makes me emotional and teary and it's just such a wonderful movie. 

Little Women
I know a lot of you wouldn't consider this a Christmas movie, but I do. 
I love my mom and sisters more than anything in this world, and this movie just makes me cry for 2 hours because I can relate to Jo March more than any literary character ever written. 
I love her devotion to her sisters and how helpless she feels when change comes.
But I love the Christmas scenes in this movie. I love them reading their father's letter, to Beth getting the piano, to the party where Jo meets Laurie and Meg twists her ankle ("He put snow on your ankle? With his bare hands?") and the Christmas where the father comes home (cue me crying again.) 
I love this movie and it will always be a Christmas movie to me. 

I hope you all have a wonderful and Merry Christmas! I hope you find the spirit of this season, because I promise you, it exists. It exists through Christ-like love and the miracles of Santa (Yes, Virginia, there IS a santa clause) and he does exist. I have seen too many Christmas Miracles for the spirit of Santa not to exist. As QE2 puts it
"I want to wish you all, a blessed Christmas!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

What did you do tonight?

Oh. I faked a proposal on temple square, with my best friend, and kept a straight face the whole time, which was hard considering we were adorable and melodramatic the whole time. Sometimes, it's nice to be reminded why someone is your best friend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Book Thief

My brother, Russell, recently read a book, The Book Thief, by Markus Zusack. He gave it an amazing review and I thought, "oh, that's nice!" and got on with finals. I bought myself a kindle during all the black Friday stuff and Russell told me I should read the Book Thief. I'm always looking for a good book to read, and I completely 100% trust my brother's recommendations. He has taste and is educated to recognize good literature.
So I actually downloaded the book on tape and started listening to the book thief. I would only let myself listen to it while I sewed or cut stuff out (motivation to sew) and finished it last night just as I finished part of Brady's Christmas Present.
The book was wonderful.
I've always loved books. When I was a little girl I was always reading. My mom would have to bribe me NOT To read just so I would get something done. Usually as a child I could be found up some tree, with a book in my hand. My mom had an afternoon paper route and would very often leave me at the A.K. Smiley Library for the afternoon where I read every Nancy Drew, discovered Old Yeller, the Mixed up Files of Miss Basil E Frankweiler, and hundreds more.
What did I love about The Book Thief? What set it apart from so many other books I had read?
The author's voice.
Markus Zusack had such a phenomenal way to say things, write things, explain things. The story is told from Death's perspective. It is about a girl living on Himmel Street in "Molching", Germany. Molching is a fictional town, that sits right by Dachau. I have been to the city of Dachau and their infamous concentration camp. I speak German, have lived in Germany, and so it was a lot of fun to be familiar with all those things.
This story was beautiful. I loved the relationships with all the characters. This wasn't your typical "holocaust story." It was told from an angle I, personally, have never experienced before, and it didn't leave you feeling like the world is a terrible place and all humans don't deserve to live (which is how I leave after most holocaust storied and movies) Don't get me wrong, it was heart-wrenching. I cried, but I also laughed and smiled.
There were parts that were so amazingly written I was left breathless. Pick it up, read it. Do it.