Paradise ponders, Christmas party edition... One of the things we cherish about living here is the acceptance of us by the overwhelmingly Mormon local community. One example of this: we were invited to the Christmas party for the Paradise church's Ward 2, which covers the area our house is in. This was a chance for us to socialize a bit with our friends and neighbors, and for Debbie in particular to get out on her own two feet (no walker, crutches, or even a cane!). The best part of all, for us: everyone there welcomed us as part of their community. That's such a comfortable and safe feeling...
We had a lovely time at the party last night. There were lots of people we know, and some we've become quite close to, and also some new people to meet. Smiles and happy people were everywhere. Home-cooked food was served for dinner (a fine roast beef dinner for the adults, macaroni-and-cheese and Swedish meatballs for the kids), with enough cookies and cakes to fatten us all up. The highlight of the evening was a reenactment of the Biblical story of the birth of Christ, by the kids in the ward. It was beautiful and cute, and with the entire audience comfortable in each other's presence, very relaxed. A few of the kids were clearly enjoying themselves on stage, but most of them were terrified, of course – but they did it. The audience cheered them on, encouraged them, laughed with them when something went wrong. It was all very sweet, and reminded both Debbie and I of some childhood experiences. It also brought home just how different the local culture here is from that of California, where we spent decades not feeling like part of the community.
We love living here!
Some photos of the kid's re-enactment, and the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Claus: