Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas with the Evans' 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

It has come to the time of year when we like to look back at what has been and gone, and look forward to what is coming. I have tried writing this letter many times in the past few weeks, but the words just never seem to come out correctly. This year has been so full of good memories for us, and the months have just flown by. I can hardly believe that the year is almost over.

I’m feeling very… preachy… spiritual… humbled… awed… today. I’m not really sure of the word to use for it. I have been sitting within the confines of my cubicle listening to Christmas music all morning and feeling touched by the spirit and feeling my cold black heart melt a little towards this season of greed. Because, it’s not about greed at all, but it’s about our Savior.

Jesus Christ was sent to earth for me, and the angels sang of his glory and testified of him to the world, not just to some shepherds in a field. Some times I like to think that maybe, just maybe I was a part of that heavenly choir singing praises to my King, my brother, and our Father’s gift to man.

I may hate the Christmas season, and what it has grown to be. I hate the shopping and the commercialism. I hate the greedy kids and the parents that just wont say no. I hate the “I wants” and the “give me” that we hear daily. I hate the crowds and the noise and the busyness of it all...

But above all else, I love giving. I love sharing. I love seeing the smiles and wonder on the faces of the little people in my life when Santa appears, or when the Christmas story is read. I love seeing strangers smile at each other in the streets and neighbors waving. I love seeing families spending quality time together. I love the music that speaks, not just of the season, but of our Savior. I love singing hymns and carols and not caring if I’m off key. I love looking at the lights in the stillness of the night. I love watching the snow fall and how it makes the world look new. I love being reminded not only of our Savior’s birth, but also of the promise of the atonement and eternal life and families. I love that for just a little while, the majority of the world sets aside their differences and we all share in a day of peace and humbled remembrance of what gifts we have been given.

This year has gone by quickly and we have done so many great and fun things, but what stands out to us so much is that this year has been full of examples of love for us. We have been on the receiving end of so many blessings and I hope that some where we were able to reciprocate and let you know that as our friends and family that we do love you, more than I think we even understand some days.

John and I have been blessed with families with whom we value our time. For friends that love us and understand us and might was well just be part of our families as well because we love you just that much.

So instead of a travel log of what we have and haven’t done this year, instead I’d like to share with you my testimony of our Savior. He lives. He loves us. We celebrate His birth because this is a man who came for each of us. He is the greatest example. He atoned for our sins and gives us the opportunity to be forgiven. He lived his life as an example of what we can and should be. Christmas should be about HIM and not about the things we have. He asks us for our faith, our love, and our broken hearts. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, with all my heart I know it. If we can just follow his example and do the best we can He’ll make up the difference and we’ll be able to live with him forever. I’m grateful for the gospel in our lives and the opportunities that we have to share with others, by word and example.

May the Lord bless you in this coming year. May you always remember the love that we have for you, and know that we consider ourselves blessed because of our friendship.

Merry Everything, and Happy Always.
Liz and John Evans


"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again."
~ Howard W. Hunter, "The Gifts of Christmas," Ensign, Dec 2002, 16 ~

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