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Rethinking Christmas: Traditions that Matter

By Terresa Wellborn

“It’s always the most conventional things that contain the largest measure of madness.” -Javier Marías It’s that time again…for Santa and reindeer, pine trees and trim, egg nog and caroling. Part of me cringes every year at the overblown time/money/mental and emotional investment this season requires. In the midst of Christmas, where’s the sanity? Is …

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Skipping Christmas

By Shelah Miner

IMG_0219I think it was last March when my husband came in from shoveling snow (once again), shed his heavy parka, and said, “I think we should go on vacation for Christmas this year.” While he probably had visions of sitting by the pool with a tropical drink in his hand, my mind immediately went to “The Spreadsheet,” as in, the document that rules my life in November in December, the one in which I keep track of what needs to be bought, wrapped, shipped and crossed off my list. The Spreadsheet gives me the kind of nightmares I used to have in college, when finals week always brought a heart-stopping dream involving a math class I didn’t know I was signed up for.

“Can we go instead of buying presents?” I asked. I had visions of a December where I wouldn’t be running from Costco to Bath and Body works, and the UPS man wouldn’t need a dolly to get to my front door. Obviously, gifts are not my love language. I didn’t want to skip the Jesus part of Christmas, just the ribbons and wrappings, the tinsel and trappings.

Of course, our families are not going with us on this trip, so there are still parents and siblings to buy for. There’s still the cousin gift exchange, and the cousins on the other side, and the courtesy cousins, and therefore still the need for a spreadsheet.

I just got back from Target with half a dozen white elephant gifts for parties we’re attending this weekend, because opting out on the social events makes me feel like a Scrooge.

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TRUTH, TRUST AND TRADITION

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

I was having lunch with my friend, Sue, recently and we got to talking about our relationship with the LDS Church throughout our lives. We’re both Mormons in our 50’s, so our experience is long enough to make some general observations and comparisons. We’re both committed, practicing church members, but our underlying motivations differ. Or maybe …

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An Anniversary: This Pilgrim’s Progress

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

June 16 is the anniversary of my baptism, the day I became a Latter-day Saint. It was 1971, three days shy of my 19th birthday. (Do the math; the upcoming birthday is a big one about which I am in deep denial.) For 2 years before my baptism I was an active, participating dry member of my college ward in Massachusetts and my Illinois ward when I was home with my (Protestant but not particularly religious) family.

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Cream of Wheat

By Lori Nawyn

MY GRANDMA JENSEN COULD MAKE the perfect bowl of Cream of Wheat. The kind that would glide smoothly up a straw into your mouth to be greeted with delight by your tongue. As a child, I was unaware of how long Grandma labored over her old avocado-green stove, stirring the smooth mixture to perfection. Cognizant only …

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