We promised pictures of the Festival of Lights. But our little iPhone just won’t do them justice. This is probably the best one we got (left). It shows the fountain which is right in front of the temple, with the lighted trees behind it. The big tree with white lights is on the temple mall, while the colored lights are farther away in front of the Visitors’ Center.
Here are a couple I took close up of the ornaments on my favorite tree in the Visitors’ Center. I call it my Angels and Shepherds tree. Angels are on the top, and shepherds and sheep below. Pictures don’t do it justice!
NOW, to preserve some images for our memories, here are a couple Festival of Lights pictures from the web:
What is amazing to me is the thousands of people who come to the temple grounds every day now since the lights were officially turned on December 4. When we leave the temple after our mid-day shifts (1:00 – 7:00), there are lines of cars waiting to turn in, and busses dropping off whole groups of people, and a lot of volunteers with giant flashlights directing traffic and protecting pedestrians. And the people inside the Visitors’ Center each night lined up to see the nightly performances. And we are part of those crowds of people!
Here are a couple more pictures taken inside the auditorium at the official opening of the Festival of Lights. Helen Hanson, a 93-year old sister who still works in the temple, and who used to live up the street from me and my family in McLean, VA many, many years ago, got us tickets to that private event! We felt very privileged. Diplomats and their families, as well as people from the neighborhoods around the temple were the invited guests.
It is very different not being home for Christmas, with our big decorated tree and traditional celebrations with the kids and grandkids, but with all the beauty and wonderful spirit here, we are not feeling blue like I thought we might. I have said over the last few years that I wished for a holiday season without all the stress of baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, etc. Well, I’ve got it this year!!! What few gifts we are giving we bought before we left Colorado. Our biggest project was getting out about 100 Christmas cards, so our friends would know where we are! And now we are enjoying decorating with the cards we receive in the mail! MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!