Well, last night’s FHE was a yearly tradition. Earlier in the day, I ran to Michaels, bought a few packs of Fimo Polymer clay, and cleaned out my old clay supply.
When Homey arrived home, we began FHE. This activity usually takes a while. We ate dinner as we watched the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional.
The First Presidency Christmas Devotional is shown on a Sunday Night. We used to go to it before we had the younger kids. Now, it is also shown online, and we have a three-year-old and a nearly two-year-old. The option to watch it at home is great. So a few years ago we decided to incorporate the devotional into a FHE. While I miss the excitement of going to the broadcast and focusing solely on the message, I love watching it at home, and listening to the prophets speak with my children. And I love listening to MoTab during FHE. This has really worked with our family.
After we finish dinner, we pause the broadcast at a convenient point, tidy dinner, and then begin the next part of FHE – the making of our yearly ornament.
A lot of people have a tradition of purchasing an ornament for each family member. I like that idea. But I also like making stuff. Well, I’ve been making “stuff” out of Polymer clay for years. So, when I got the idea of buying an ornament for my children each year, I decided to really personalize it – and make our ornaments.
I have to admit, at first it was tempting to take control of the whole operation, and make all of the ornaments myself. But, as my kids got older, it was fun to see them express their own creativity. So, we modified the tradition, and everyone makes their own ornaments. The kids look forward to the tradition as much as I do.
For days leading up to FHE, I remind them, “Start thinking about what you want to make for your ornament…” This usually produces quiet squeals of delight, as the kids try to think of what they want to make. Of course, no one talks about it – the ornaments are usually a surprise. If I ask, “What are you going to make?”, the typical response that follows is, “You’ll see!”
It really is a lot of fun.
So, I got out the Fimo, got everyone situated, un-paused the Christmas Devotional, and we all worked hard crafting.
Finally, around eight (this FHE is always a little long), we had completed ornaments: A Putting Green (Homey), a Lemon Tree (Me), A cutting block with cookbook, spatula and chef’s hat (Tiger), a giant number “10” (Panda), Toadette (Sasquatch), and a headless Yoshi (T-Rex).
We were also filled with the inspiring words of the prophets. I loved the messages. I especially loved Elder Uchtdorf’s talk on being a good recipient of gifts. Wasn’t that a great talk?! How often do you try to give someone a gift, and they feel guilty??? That’s not the point. The worst is when you try to give someone something or do something for them, and they keep refusing – as if it is polite! I loved his talk. Being a good receiver really is a show of gratitude and love. And I loved Elder Eyring’s talk. And the Prophet’s talk (of course). I never tire of President Monson’s example of loving service. I really hope I can be more like him one day. I am grateful that the man who leads our church is such a good example of Christ-like love. But my favorite part was singing, in my home, with the Tabernacle choir.
Silent Night is my favorite Christmas song. As the hymn began, everyone in our home naturally stopped what they were working on, and began to sing in the third verse of the beloved hymn. It was a nice moment in our home. (And in case you have been tricked into thinking that we’re some kind of perfect family…I should let you know that the moment was promptly celebrated by a loud screech from the T-Rex!)
What did you do for FHE? Do you have any FHE Christmas traditions?
Be sure to check out another FHE experience at Jocelyn’s Blog.