A Rocky Mountain Christmas

            One of my favorite Christmas memories was at my parent’s cabin for Christmas, years ago in Star Valley, Wyoming. The only way in or out was snowmobile or snowshoes. Our family filled the house (I have 10 brothers and sisters), it was Christmas Eve—the cabin was cozy and warm—treats and food were plentiful, everybody was having a good time around the fireplace, eating, laughing, playing games or just talking. It was getting dark, but you could still see a ways into the woods. At that moment it seemed that we were all given a special Christmas gift, as if we already didn’t have enough.

         Someone looked out the north windows and saw a small herd of elk feeding in the timber only a few yards away. We all came there to enjoy that beautiful scene.  Then someone else called us to come to the east windows to see a small herd of mule deer feeding on the gentle slope there. While we were all excitedly watching those beautiful animals in their gray brown coats of winter hair, so smooth and perfect not a hair out of place, and the gently falling snow dusting their backs with a coating that looked like powdered sugar, another person called us to the south front room window. Down below us, below the deck- were two great large black and brown colored Bull Moose having a somewhat friendly sparring match with their caramel colored antlers. They really weren’t fighting seriously, more for exercise I thought.  They were amazing to look at. So big muscular and powerful.

           We were literally surrounded by the wild creatures of the forest, all for our enjoyment. It seemed more than chance. It seemed a gift to our family on Christmas Eve from a loving God to a loving family. My memories of life in the Rocky Mountains are so plentiful and rich, but maybe that evening at our cabin as a family on the night that celebrates our Savior’s birth is a fitting tribute to these mountains and our life in them and by them, a sort of frosting on the cake of how blessed I feel to have lived here for these many good years. Thank you, Heavenly Father.


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