My Christmas Letter

December 2010

Dear Friends and Family-
Yeah, I know! Christmas cards from Brady! Who would have thought?

2010 and I had a good time. I spent most of it in Michigan, making brief escapes elsewhere from time to time.

As you probably know, I continue working for Ford Motor Company, as a Financial Analyst in the Product Development group. I can’t tell you exactly what I work on, but you’ll probably start seeing it in a few years, if things go as planned. Ford continues to do well, and I continue to remind you that if you are considering a new new car, be sure to let me know. I can get you a discount! (Unless you live in Puerto Rico, as it turns out…)

I made my first visits to Chicago (Finally!), Puerto Rico, and the Bruce Peninsula of “Southern” Ontario this year. They were all wonderful visits. I also took a summer road trip with my kid sister Nicole across Ohio to New York. We just barely missed being rained out of the Cedar Point amusement park and were nearly rained out of the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

I set my grill on fire during a Labor Day party at my apartment and hosted a fantastic group of friends for Thanksgiving. I watched the last episodes of LOST and Heroes with friends. I made it to three different cider mills. I was the piñata swinger at a Fiesta Mexicana.

All in all, I’d say it was a great year. Thank you for the part you played in it!

Here’s hoping you have a happy Christmas and a wonderful year in 2011.

Brady Emmett

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Keeping The Spirit of Christmas All Year

This is the text of the talk I gave yesterday as part of our congregation’s Christmas program.  I thought I’d share.


The Spirit of Christmas is a marvelous thing. In the days of Christ’s birth Angels sang, Shepherds watched with care by night, Wise men adored. It was a time of wonders and miracles. A new star appeared in the sky. Half a world away, “at the going down of the sun, there was no darkness” (3 Nephi 1:15). A prophet was commanded to lift up his head and be of good cheer and a people of faith was spared.

One passage of scripture has often caught my attention as I have studied the glorious times that accompanied the Savior’s birth. In the Gospel of Luke we learn that His mother, Mary “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart”. (Luke 2:19)

She had the Son of God with her every day and yet she kept and pondered the miracles of His birth in her heart. We would do well to follow Mary’s example.

What might we keep and ponder in our hearts throughout the year?

I propose that we remember first and foremost the miracle of Christ’s life and death. That we remember that He lived for us and that He died for us and that through His infinite atonement, we can be made clean.

Second, I propose that we strive daily to model our actions after His; that we love one another; that we keep His commandments; that throughout the coming year, we keep in our hearts the generosity, the love, the joy, the gratitude, the kindness and the happiness that we feel during the Christmas season; that we love our God and we love our Neighbor and we love Ourselves.

Finally, I propose that we Be Believing, now and all year. Christmas is a time of faith. Christ has made many promises to us. If we Believe Christ, we will find that when we are challenged, there will be no darkness. We will not be alone. We will be able to lift up our heads and be of good cheer.

These are just a few of the many Christmas miracles we could keep in our hearts and ponder over the coming year. You and I have been blessed beyond measure through the birth of Jesus Christ.

President Howard W. Hunter made the following invitation many years ago, and I echo its sentiment now: “If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of the sweetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas season, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees—alone or with loved ones—give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that His Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve Him and keep His commandments. He will take you by the hand and His promises will be kept.”(Hunter 1972)

In conclusion, I would like to share a lesson that I learned from the classic Christmas story, A Muppet’s Christmas Carol. The Ghost of Christmas Present teaches old Scrooge that Christmas “is a season of the heart, a special time of caring, The ways of love made clear. It is the season of the spirit. The message, if we hear it, is make it last all year.” Scrooge also learns that “When you do your best for love, it feels like Christmas.”

I have learned that the Spirit of Christmas is a spirit of love and gratitude. For me, keeping and pondering the spirit of Christmas in my heart all year means working to show love, compassion and kindness as best I can.

I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that He loves us. I know it now and I hope I remember it throughout the year. I know that if we do keep the Spirit of Christmas with us all year, it will be a time of wonders and miracles for us as well.

Brothers and Sisters, May we keep and ponder these things in our hearts. May we remember the miracle of Christ’s Birth, follow His commandments, and Be Believing.  May we do our best for love and make the Christmas spirit last all year.

Mashups Rock! It Feels Like Christmas x 4

I’m giving part of the Christmas sermon on Sunday and I’m considering quoting extensively from “It Feels Like Christmas” from The Muppet Christmas Carol. As part of my “research,” I was on YouTube trying to track down the exact lyrics I wanted to quote.

Of course I came up with the original video:

 


But I also came up with these fantastic mashups:

Hagrid as the Ghost of Christmas Present

The Doctor as the Ghost of Christmas Present

Aladdin’s Genie as the Ghost of Christmas Present:

I think that the Hagrid one is my favorite, but the use of the Master at the beginning of the Doctor Who was great.  Which do you like best?

Christmas Ideas

This post is mostly meant for my family.  It’s a way for me to effectively communicate what I would like for Christmas.  Generally, I am listing these in higher priority first order.  These are ideas and don’t really construe a wish list as such.  Nor is it comprehensive.  Some of my favorite gifts have been the things that I least expect, that I didn’t know that I wanted… like my cast iron skillet or 30 pounds of potatoes.

(Intangible) Things I want and need:

– A deeper relationship with my siblings, particularly my brothers.
– An occasional phone call from one of the above
– Someone to pick me a dentist and schedule me an appointment
– Encouragement (and help) planning and shopping for meals in advance
– Decluttering help and encouragement
– Some time to think  and encouragement to ask and answer the hard questions
– Insight into and practice to become a better friend

(Tangible) Things that I want and need:

– An Ultrasonic Humidifier
– Manly Thank You Notes  (Too many are feminine or wedding TY notes. Not what I need!)
– A Knife Sharpener
– Good Steak knives, and maybe an extra paring knife or two
– A storage solution for my Dominion collection
– Oneida Community Twin Star Serving Pieces (Esp. the Pie Server and Pierced Serving Spoon)
– A Green Tie
– Pocket Squares with Yellow, Orange, Red, or Green accents

Things that I want but probably don’t need:

– Argyle Socks
– Argyle Sweaters
– German Style Games that I don’t already own (ask if you want to know) (I’ve had my eye on Small World and Incan Gold)
– David Allen’s books: Getting Things Done and Making It All Work
– Gretchen Rubin’s book: The Happiness Project
– A Cast Iron Dutch Oven (Kitchen Style, not Campfire style)
– An Immersion Blender
– A Rice Cooker Cookbook, like The Pot and How to Use It
– Dr. Who trinkets

 

What do you want for Christmas?