Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christmas Part II

(This entry is in reference to the comments posted to my last blog entry "Santmas or Christmas" ...)

It's neat that you (the Orgill's) have shared and still share such treasured memories. It sounds fun and uniting...I like the thoughts that have been shared. I'll have to think about this one for a while. :)

About gifts - Ya know, it's not the media that has influenced my thinking about gifts. It's finances...some friends of mine who have commented may understand:) So often there's so much stress involved in the holiday season when you don't know how to pay (not only for food, gas, and bills) and not only for special gifts you long to see brighten your own children's faces, but for a decent gift for all the other gifts you need to and want to tends to leave a bad taste in your mouth when it gets to be ... like one recent Christmas for us. It's impossible to understand unless one has been through it.

But, at the same time, there's so much we've learned by having gone through such a trying time (as we struggled with more than just finances) during such a special season. There's so much we learned as we observed what others were doing around us and as we strived to discover what it was we could learn through it all on the inside.

It's taught me that not only during Christmas time, but throughout life; meaning, purpose, service, and joy is found in people. It's taught me to be aware of and sensitive to others' situations. To give to others who are needing a little cheering, who are struggling, who, during a time such as Christmas, want to be able to give like everyone else around them. It taught me to stop and be aware of one another's personal or obvious battles and do what I can to lift ones spirit with a message of hope and helpful advice. It taught me to look to the Lord and lean on Him at all times, especially during the hardest and darkest of times.

I am so grateful to the Lord for it was He, and only He, who knew the extent of our suffering. It was He, and only He, who helped us through, pushed us through, lifted us through, the last season. Our family wouldn't be together if He didn't. Oh, how I love the Lord! He has the right to having most of my attention during His season. I am just so grateful to Him.

But, concerning gifts - I think planning ahead is a good thing. Which is, I'm happy to say, what I've been doing this year...most gifts are already purchased and although my gifts may not be as fancy or as expensive as the gifts that are given to one another or even that I'll recieve, they'll be gifts that come from the heart because they're gifts we enjoy and hope others enjoy as well. That is what true gift giving is all about during such a wonderful time.

The traditions the Orgill's have spoken about sound wonderful. Such a thing must be the authentic reason for the season, to find what brings true happiness and contentment to our soul, our families, and let it bloom and burst during the best season of the year.

Thanks for all your comments. I look forward, more than I did before, to the up coming season and to spending it with all of you. I've been able to find and clarify the happy medium for myself and have rooted further peace and joy because of it.

And to John - I love you so much. You are my gift this Christmas.


dlkenney said...

I also agree with planning ahead. I try to have all my christmas bought by Halloween, so I can enjoy the holiday season. I leave my homemade gifts for the season, because it seams to bring the creative side of me out more. Like every year my siblings and I always make my parents a homemade gift that represents all of us.

Rochelle said...

This goes along with the last quotes too. Concerning gifts, no one remembers gifts much, it is more of a feeling, but I do remember the year I got my water bed. We were allow $100 each that year (which was more than the usual $50) so I got my water bed, I wasn't expecting anything else, much to my surprise my mom (Santa) surprised me with a little hiker bear stuffed animal guy. I was so happy and so surprised especially because I knew mom had to spend "her own money" on anything extra. We didn't have much money growing up and I always wished we could get more presents, but I was so thankful for the hard work my mom put into each Christmas. I think as parents we have to make Christmas special for our children no matter how we choose to spend it, or how much money we have to spend on it. I can totally see how no money makes the holidays hard, I felt that at every Christmas growing up, but always appreciated what my parents did for us. There is so much more to Christmas than the stress that everyone talks about. I hope each year we all strive to make the kind of memories that bring chills to our children when they think of their childhood. I think that can only be accomplished by celebrating the birth of Christ and feeling the spirit which truly warms our souls. Everything else is just icing on the cake...

claudia said...

If one has experienced the mentioned IS something to talk about.(To complain about – no.) We can help give suggestions and share experiences as to how one can make it a less stressful experience (for those it is stressful for) and how to make it a more enjoyable season.

We can't ignore that people struggle and stress. Not everyone has a comfortable amount of money and a desirable optimistic outlook.

We can give advice as to what it is which needs more of our attention and focus - to help keep things in perspective during Christmas time.

I hope I never implied that making Christmas special for our children isn't important. I sure didn't mean to if I did.

I simply wanted to give credit to Him who deserves the credit.

For us, like Rochelle said, we believe great holiday memories can only be accomplished by making sure to celebrate the birth of Christ. (Which has been my point in all of this.)

Joe said...

I am forever grateful that working 60+ hrs/week for the 15 yrs or so of the kids growing up, that somehow we provided presents. I had no Christmases at all my first 8 years before the divorce. When I was 6 my father moved out and my mother scrubbed floors, and Colin and I were home alone daily. I have no memory of feeling deprived because of only having new cardboard for the holes in my shoes, or new patches on my knee. My mother nevertheless taught me to pray and believe in God, which gave me my foundation. I was truly excited for my grated carrot sandwich and sugar on bread sandwhich that I got everyday as I entered school. I thought it was cool, that they were wrapped in newspaper with thread around them. My mother showed me love (my Dad had moved out), and I was proud that she was my mother, I loved life, as Colin & I roamed the forests with our hatchets, exploring. My loving life had to do with my mother's love, and was not related to presents or things she did or did not buy for me. I did chop down a small fir tree once to bring it home for christmas when I was 6. I love you all, I love life and Rosanne, Life has Been Good, and Still is.

John said...

Claudia- Thanks for the free gift coupon...but you kind of requested another gift. Can this be applied to another occasion? :)


My most memorable gift was a blue bike with solid rubber tires. That bike was a dream come true! Thanks mom and dad! And for all the time and extra time you put in to making it all so special.
"I can totally see how no money makes the holidays hard, I felt that at every Christmas growing up, "

Can of worms is our favorite dish around these parts. mmm!

julianne orth said...

I agree with a lot of your points. Me and justin have also talked about how presents get out of control. I think that the fact we as parents try to give our kids EVERYTHING they want just because they want it, maybe because when we were kids we didn't get everything we wanted, but that was OK when we were little. Like everyone said it is the family and traditions you remember and maybe that one special present but that is all. I think it is great that you are trying to focus more on christ, and i don't think your children will be deprived at all. I hate handing out gifts at every party and they are usually meaningless anyways. I think we should all focus on giving more and and on christ. Santa will never go away but it is fine to take the spotlight off of him. Claudia I think you and Johnny do such a wonderful job with your kids and instill great values in them.

julianne orth said...

just a little side note... me and justin have come up with a new way to save money for christmas- we have a little jar that we put our coins in and any time i have a little extra cash i stash it in there. Then by time christmas comes i usually have a couple hundred dollars extra and it doesn't even seem like i sacrificed to save it. I make a lot more money in summer than in winter as i am sure the wedding people do to, so this way i can save up money easier. That is just an idea that has been great for us cuz money is just tighter in those months

Rochelle said...

OK i admit it, I don't have a hard time saying no to my kids and I don't feel like I should buy them everything, maybe that makes my life more stress free - who knows. But it does get harder when they get older, because they want and need more. My advice... Set a budget, stick to it, don't go into debt for Christmas - or any gifts, and if they want more, they can choose to spend their own money on it (we need to help them earn money though). I always had to chip in on my bigger bday presents and Christmas presents. I didn't mind, and it taught me responsibility (I guess). Don't loan your kids money, teach them to pay for and save for what they want. Wait what is this post about - oh I am going off on a tangent and sitting on a soap box. OK I am off the subject, but that is my advice for the day:)

Rochelle said...

PS Julianne, I love the idea of the loose change thing. It was fun cashing it in with you last year:)

Todd and Julie said...


I just joined facebook (I'm still trying to figure it out) and joined the Venezuela Valencia mission group. When I joined, they have a message board and the first message I saw was someone looking for Elder Orgill. Here is what the message said:

Is anyone here in contact with elder Orgil (I'm not sure about the spelling) He was the one who knocked on our door, but was transferred before my family got baptized. If there's anyone who can find me a way to get in touch with him, I would appreciate it SO MUCH, I've been trying to find him ever since I moved to Utah.

Her name is: Anays Ponce and she wrote this on October 17, 2008. I'm not sure how to get a hold of her - I'll try to figure it out. I just thought Johnny would like to know. He was a great missionary - I served several years after him and people were still talking about him.

rockslide said...

Elder Orgil,
My name is Anays Ponce. I am from Naguanagua, Carabobo, Venezuela. My dad's name is Salomon Ponce and my mother's name is Ana Ponce. You were one of the two missionaries that knocked on our door 12 years ago in Naguanagua. I believe you were transferred before we got baptized. A lot has happened since, my family and I moved to the United States, Evelyn and I were raised in Durham, North Carolina. I am currently living in Salt Lake attending the LDS Business College, and Evelyn plans on attending BYU Idaho in January. My dad is branch president of the Spanish Branch in Durham. Both my parents are attending Durham Technical College and my mom has a full-ride scholarship. I have been trying to find you for about a year and a half. I started dating a returned missionary and it hit me how proud you would be of the fact that yours and your companion's courage to go to a stranger's house and talk to them about the gospel has not only changed a family's life, it has led that my parents to change numerous lives.
If you would like to talk to me or my parents, my cell number is (919)-943-9886 and my Family's home number is (919)-943-9886.
my email address is and my dad's is
Hope to hear from you!


rockslide said...

EDIT: my family's home number is not my cell number. it's (919)-479-5395

claudia said...

Wow, how wonderful! I'll pass this on to John! I'm sure he'd love to give you a call.

Darla said...

Hey Claud...I love your Blog. It's been too long. I hope things are going well for you. It looks like it. You are such a great person! I haven't even begun to think of Christmas yet! AHHHHH... it's coming way to fast. :) love ya!!

Joe said...

Nice to read about the family you taught Johnny, like Jimmy Stewart in that xmas movie, you touched the lives of so many people during your mission. It brings me joy also to read it. love dad