Saturday, December 15, 2012

Finding Christmas at the Zion’s Mall

          Okay, to my knowledge, there really is no such thing as Zion’s Mall.  It had been the name for a Relief Society activity that was held during the holiday season in 2008.  A wonderful presentation and activity that I have never experienced before or since.

I had signed up to take a relish tray – and as I was arranging the pickles and olives in an ordinary way, Roland (who is all about presentation) rearranged them so that the arrangement itself appeared 
to be a huge sunflower

The cultural hall had been set up with tables all around for booth display. There were ten “shops” surrounding the seven round tables located in the center of the room which represented the food court.

          When we entered the “mall” each sister was presented with a “master-in-charge” card and a shopping bag to fill.  The object was to visit all ten stores and collect bookmarks. Each bookmark contained a key.  The keywords given on the back would be unscrambled after all ten were collected.

          In no particular order there were a toy store, music store, Christmas store, book store, candle shop, art shop, one with fashion and accessories, a sweet shop, farmers market, and a bakery. At each table were thoughts to take along with little gifts and trinkets to remind us of certain things.

Call me a scrounge but I save Everything . . . used to anyway.  I’m trying to weed out the clutter.  But I did find this to be a fascinating workshop and glued all the thoughts into a book and have handwritten descriptions to go with each.  I suppose it might make a nice treasure for Jenna to see something in my actual handwriting

The music shop and toy shop happened to be next to each other. From the music shop we received both little plastic flutes and whistles and a kazoo with this thought: 

For my soul delighteth in the song of the hear; yea, the song of the heart: yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.” – D&C 25:12

.  From the toy shop we received three gifts – one of which was a paddle and ball.  Attached to one of the gifts was this note attached:  
Now and then it’s good to pasuse in the pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”

From the candle shop were two candles – one marked with 24 lines – an advent candle to be burned each day.  The other was peppermint scented and came with this note:  
You don’t have to blow out someone else’s candle to make yours burn brighter

The Christmas shop offered several gifts including sliding puzzles with either reindeer, Santa or snowman.  The snowman seemed to be the most popular.  
Life can sometimes be a puzzle.  Reading the scriptures can help you keep all the pieces in place.

Another ball and paddle (this one had the nativity scene printed on the paddle side and this thought: 
Keep your eye on the “ball” Do not let your testimony be bounced around

We also received ornaments – one inflatable and one in the shape of a snowflake with this attachment:  
Each snowflake is unique – Just like You!”

At the art table was a picture of Jesus and an article of faith card.  And God’s Greatest Gift presented a magnet of the nativity.  I don’t even remember it.  I don’t believe it came with us when we moved.

Many books had been donated or purchased by several RS sisters who donated to the bookstore. There was one on Bible Trivia and one on faith that were given to each sister.  Plus we could choose others to keep.  I picked out a set of books called portable 7 Habits

The “habits” included: Vision, renewal, trust, synergy, purpose, abundance, choice – each book had pages of thoughts.  I still look at them and keep them.

          From the farmer’s market we were given three pieces of fruit.

 “orange” you glad we have the prophets to tell us the words of God and give us the whole truth

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – a scripture a day keeps discourage away.

There’d also been a thought on the banana – but it had disappeared from my “treasures” and I had not committed it to memory.

The Sweetshop featured a candy cane – one with the legend of the candy cane as explained here and the other that described the colors of faith  and we were given a loaf of bread from the bakery.

There was also a 
fashion show illustrating 
the importance of 

There were also the periodic “drawings” – if your name was mentioned over the “loudspeaker” you were given the opportunity to choose from the gift table.  I took home a cabbage patch doll – a preemie.

I took home my shopping bag filled with treasures which I had planned to share with Jenna as I figured she would enjoy the majority gifts more than I. 

There had benn a HUGE turn-out.  Probably the most well attended of any RS activity I had even gone to in that ward.  Those who had planned the activity had not been expecting quite that many people and unfortunately not everybody who attended was able to get everything.  (I personally had collected only 9 out of 10 bookmarks)

Each bookmark contained a Keyword: are, Scriptures, Happiness, and, Living, to, Reading, keys and two with the word “the

Translation: “Reading and Living the Scriptures are the keys for Happiness"

Each of us were given a 100 Grand (candy bars) to pay off our Master in charges cards.

          Jenna had fallen asleep before I could show her all the “treasures” I had come home with.  I remember hanging the snowflake up near her ceiling – I’dforgotten to give it to her, and I didn’t want it to get lost in the shuffle. (Our tree wouldn’t be up for another few weeks at least)

On Nov 16, 2008 Jenna came to me with such joy at her new discovery, 
“It’s a miracle,”  she announced proudly as she took me by the hand to lead me to her room.  
She pointed toward her ceiling where I had placed the star.  “Look!” she said, “It’s a Christmas miracle!”

How simple the pleasures of a child.  How great the reminders!

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