Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Making Christmas Amazing

I have been officially invited to be a part of the board for the  CacheValleyForHope.org Cancer Foundation.  I'm really excited.  My husband is on the board and I've been helping him for a few years.  A few people moved and so there were openings.  One of my favorite people was also invited to join the board and I can't wait to learn all I can from her.  

I started working to get Christmas together for some of the families who have children with cancer. A friend of mine is taking care of the gifts for 2 families. And as I got working on it, I found out that one family had an old artificial tree that was falling apart.  So a member of the board purchased this tree for them.  I asked my neighbors for any ornaments they had laying around - Catholics and Mormons came through with the most beautiful red and green ornaments.  I also purchased a few and someone donated money for the star.  Someone else donated the tree skirt.  I couldn't have done this without the help of my wonderful and generous neighbors.

And I don't have photos of the outside of the house but Anderson's Seed and Garden came through and installed Red, Green, and White LED lights on this house too. The mother said over and over again how she has always wanted Christmas lights on her home.  I'm glad someone donated the lights for Anderson's to install.  I told her as I was leaving that even though this is a difficult time, we wanted to add a little light, a little sparkle to their lives.  She was so thankful. Her son has osteosarcoma and has had his leg amputated.

Funny experience - she asked me who they return the tree to when the holidays are over.  That thought had never crossed my mind.  Of course I told her it was hers to keep.  I told her she could move any of the ornaments she wanted.  And I showed her how to make the bows and how to place the ornaments on the tree as well as how to remove them.  I wired everything on except the snowflakes.  She said she wasn't going to touch it until the holidays were over.  She just wanted to sit and look at it.  She loved how much light it added to their home.

She had never thought of putting words on the tree. I got the words and the snowflakes and the large ornaments in the center of the tree from Hobby Lobby.

When I was serving as a full time missionary at the age of 21 in Washington D.C. I served there Christmas of 1997 and 1998.  During the Christmas of 1998 we didn't even have a small tree. We taped a strand of lights to our apartment's sliding glass door.  Instead we helped decorate 6 trees for members of other faiths, new members of our congregation, and even some older members too.

John and Neomi's tree was the most fun - at the time they were newly weds just barely expecting their first child.  Sister Howlett and I had so much fun helping them decorate.  John was a brand new member of the church at the time.  He was full of fire and testimony. Their house just glowed with all the lights. Good times.

We also served in the Washington D.C. Temple Visitor's Center and enjoyed the millions of lights and the beautiful Creche displays from all over the world.  There were also trees decorated to celebrate many different cultures.  It was a Christmas I'll never forget.  Julie Marriott gave me a beautiful stationary set with a Mini Mouse Cross pen. Another person at church gave us lotion and the best holiday candy I've ever eaten.  And my mom sent me comfy pajamas - I was returning home soon and didn't need much.

And this tree makes this Christmas one I will never forget.  I had so much fun listening to J's mom and hearing her story.  She was honest and strong and just in need of some time to talk.  She asked about my run in with cancer and we shared the afternoon just decorating and making their home beautiful.

Hope you enjoyed the tree as much as I did!

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