I played with taking pics of the Christmas tree again. :) As I was viewing these pics for the first time, I noticed that this one, when cropped a bit, becomes a self-portrait. I don't know if you'll be able to see it as well as I can, since blogger does *not* like any pic over 400 pixels, but here it is:
You can see Jared and Matt in the background. I'm the one with the camera. :)
And is it just me, or do you love the "shiny" factor of the Christmas tree too? I love the lights and the reflection of the lights off of any surface. The garland and a shiny bulb does the job really well! :)
On another, much less cheerful note, a historical building in a nearby city caught fire last Friday. It had been a church building for many, many years, and then at some point became a community building that concerts, graduations, and many other events were held in.
When I heard about it, tears streamed down my face. It felt like I'd lost a close friend. I remember going to church there on special occassions, my daughter had a Christmas concert there once, and it has been a landmark for my entire life. It was built in the 1800's, took 15 years to build, and cost over $100,000 at the time. It was a gorgeous building, complete with towers and stained glass windows.
When the firefighters arrived on the scene Friday morning, it was already a four alarm fire and deemed too danger to fight on the inside of the building, so a defensive stance was taken and water was poured into the building to control and stop the flames. The roof collapsed about 4 hours after the fire started.
On Friday, a framed picture of Jesus Christ was seen from outside of the door, but it was not yet safe to enter to retrieve it. Yesterday when they went in for it, they found that the picture had smoldered, charring all of the angels around Jesus, but leaving only Jesus in the center of the charred, framed picture. It was transported to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's headquarters in Salt Lake City to try to stabilize the picture. Provo City Councilwoman Cynthia Dayton was quoted to have said,
"I was so awestruck (by the painting) that I don't have words for it. I'm so grateful for the men and women who are willing to do that (fight fires) for us, and I think it is perfectly fitting that they should be standing around that painting. What a better way to celebrate Christmas, to celebrate the birth of Christ, than to have that at the center."
You can see the picture here, and read the original article here and an update here.
I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend, that the preparations you make for Christmas this week can be simply perfect and make wonderfully lasting memories, and that while in the midst of it all that you are able to feel the Joy and Peace of the season.