Friday, December 16, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

After my last Christmas downer post, I decided I needed to do something for Christmas or things were going to get soul-savingly awkward the next time I saw my mom. (Love you!) So I hatched a plan. I call it -- wait for it -- the 12 days of Christmas.

It's a little different than the typical pick a family in need and leave them something every day for the 12 days prior. OK, it's not really anything like that, except both involve 12 days and end with Christmas. This is something I am doing every day leading into Christmas that will help me feel more like a Who and less like the Grinch.

Day 1 (Dec. 14): Read Luke chapters 1 and 2, the story of the birth of Jesus. An apostle once described Matthew's version as being from Joseph's perspective as Luke's version as Mary's.
Sincerely compliment someone.

Day 2: Read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Come on, you knew it was coming; it's my second favorite Christmas story. Plus, it's so inspirational:

"'Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!'"
Mean it when I say thank you.

Day 3: Read Hans Christian Anderson's "The Wild Swan." It has nothing to do with Christmas. It's a book I've had since I was little and is so beautifully illustrated it kind of makes me ache.
Find out what Community Action needs and get it.

Day 4: Read "Christmas Love." It's a sweet little story my mom got me a few years ago in an attempt to combat the Grinchiness. Without giving too much away, I'll just tell you that a little girl in a play turns her letter upside down accidentally, which drove home the meaning of Christmas for the audience.
Yeah, I just gave the whole thing away.
Bake whatever I want, all day, guilt-free. Possible menu items: chococranyam nut bites, a pumpkin roll, sugar cookies, gingerbread men. Take plates of delectableness to people I know. (If I don't know where you live, now would be a good time to change that.)

Day 5: Read the talks from the First Presidency's Christmas devotional.
Do a Book of Mormon read-a-thon. (I decided in October to read the BoM before the end of the year. That's two and a half weeks away. I'm in Alma 39. I have 200+ pages to go.)

Day 6: Read "Where the Wild Things Are." Because Christmastime is kind of like Max and his mother, what with the misunderstanding and disappointment followed by reconciliation with what is most important.
Get in touch with someone I haven't seen or heard from in a while.

Day 7: Read "The Fourth Wise Man." I'm really not going to ruin this one.
Go to the temple.

Day 8: Read "For Always" by Will Fish. You've probably never heard of it. It will make your heart grow three sizes.
Watch the new Christ-centered videos on

Day 9: Read "Christmas Gifts, Christmas Blessings" by President Monson.
Watch a good Christmas movie. I haven't decided what that is yet, but it will not involve Tim Allen, the Island of the Misfit Toys or any sort of dating debacle. The original Grinch is a definite possibility, as is my all-time favorite, Charlie Brown.

Day 10: Read "Blessings on the Hand of Women" by Elder Packer.
Invite someone over for dinner. Be finished applying to law school.

Day 11 (Christmas Eve): Read 3 Nephi chapter 1 -- the first Christmas Eve.
Run. As far as I want to. Maybe this will be the day I actually hit half-marathon distance. Or maybe it won't.

Day 12: Read Matthew 1, the most well-known and best loved story in the world.
Be happy.

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