New calling: Executive Secretary

I was set apart as the newest executive secretary in our ward today. I was called last Sunday, but have yet to be released as gospel doctrine instructor. Hopefully I won’t have to do both.

The previous executive secretary phoned me about a week and a half ago to ask me to pray in priesthood opening exercises, and he said we needed to get together since I was taking over from him. That was the first I had heard of this. As a result, it was hardly a surprise when the first counsellor in the stake presidency phoned asking me to meet with him

Secretly, I was hoping to be the new ward clerk, the current one was called to the high council. I had been ward clerk previously, and it was my most favourite calling. Unfortunately, I served for only 8 months.

Coincidently, I was gospel doctrine instructor for only eight months. The part I am going to miss the most is not teaching Old Testament next year. I was really looking forward to that.

I guess my reprieve from meetings was meant to be short.

If anyone is interested, here are the callings I have had since I was married in 1995:

  • elders quorum second counsellor
  • elders quorum president
  • ward mission leader
  • stake mission secretary
  • young men president
  • ward clerk
  • elders quorum president
  • Gospel Doctrine instructor
  • executive secretary

Nope. No ward bulletin editor.

Too early for Christmas

Our local radio station posted on their FB page a couple of days ago a question about whether or not people felt that it was too early to start getting ready for Christmas. There were a LOT of replies ranging from November 1st was way too early, stores shouldn’t have their decorations and merchandise out already, parents were posting that their children drive them wild with wanting all the toys that are now out, that it leads to commercialism, that it is never too early to get ready for Christmas etc.

I posted that I happen to believe that it is never too early to decorate your home and start preparations. For me I love Christmas and all it represents and not just for the merchandise. I also mentioned that it is up to parents to prepare their children all year about the real meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it. I mentioned why should I get punished by not being able to go through stores to see what new decorating ideas they have that I might incorporate in our village and trains display that I put up just because other parents don’t want their children to get hyped up with “gimme gimme”.

I think I have a healthy blend of the true meaning of Christmas with the fun of Santa :) We started working on our village yesterday (11th of Nov) as it takes several weeks to get it and the trains that go through it all set up. We always take our grandchildren out on the first Saturday of December to a Christmas tree farm to chop down the perfect tree and then spend the day decorating it. We have a memory tree. Nothing matches on it really. We have ornaments that mean something to us. Each of our chidlren, their spouses and our grandchildren have their own ornaments and they place it on the tree. We have ornaments that one of my husband’s grandmothers made for our children 30 years ago. Each ornament has a memory attached and these are discussed as they are placed on the tree. It gives me time to spend with our grandchildren talking about school, what’s going on in their lives etc.

We always open presents at midnight on the 24th because that was what we decided to do when my husband and I had our first Christmas. Our Christmases are a blend of long time traditions mixed with the Spirit of Christmas.

What are your thoughts? Is it too early to get started for Christmas? Do you think stores should have a “date” that they have to follow to not put out their merchandise? What is your reasoning?