Thursday, January 7, 2010

Distracted Drivers

It is time to finish my report on the Holiday Season. Since I am back at work and finally getting some rest following a vacation, I have some time to think and write. For me, the Holiday Season is off track, it has become too commercial. It is really sad that a day that is set aside to commemorate the birth of a very significant person has become a gauge of the nation’s economic situation. So in an attempt to try to center my family on what is the most important aspect, Emily and I decided we would take the children to see the Festival of Lights at the LDS Washington D.C. Temple. With more than 450,000 lights, a live nativity (when it is not snowy and cold), and 16 decorated trees in the Visitor’s Center. All this work is done by volunteers to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Although the drive is only about 150 miles it can take 4 or so hours depending on how good the traffic is. By the time we drive back it is always a full day. In order to soften the pain, we make a slight detour off of the I-95 corridor to visit some friends from Alaska that now live in the D.C. area. They have four kids that parallel ours in age and have known each other since they can remember. It is fun but chaotic to have 8 kids in a house, they love it though.

For this trip we left the house at about 9 A.M. to arrive at Woodbridge at 1 P.M. We were going to leave our friend’s at 3 P.M. in order to meet my mother who was driving south from New York. When I called my mother, she said she was 70 miles away; we were 40 miles away from the Temple. As soon as we hit the beltway, traffic came to a halt. It took us over 3 hours to drive 40 miles.

As usual, the lights were fabulous and my kids were not. Below is a picture of my daughter. Vance is clearly not participating and Olivia was cold.

We briefly conversed with my mother and hit the road. But since the kids had not eaten since much earlier, we stopped for some food and drove back to the beltway, as I was driving up the ramp I knew we were done; we got to enjoy another festival of lights.

I apologize for the blurred pictures, some guy on a cell phone cut me off and I had to hit the brakes just as I was taking the picture. I hate distracted drivers! We enjoyed these lights and did not get home until after midnight.

AAAAHHHH the spirit of Christmas!!!

1 comment:

  1. It is an economic gauge for the country, isn't it? Never thought about it in those terms.
    I got to go to the D.C. temple grounds in 8th grade when we picked my brother up from his mission. It's so beautiful! I love the reflection pool and the flowers (not that you saw them during winter) were gorgeous. The visitors center was also great, thank goodness, since we spent a long time in there waiting for my parents and Jeff to be done in the temple.
    I'm glad you got to focus on the more spiritual side of things for Christmas. That's about all you can do is make it a priority. I even started collecting quotes about the birth of Christ by prophets, apostles, and other general authorities so that we could at least have one moment every day in December where we remembered the reason we celebrate.