Back to Basics
Newsletter
November/December 2009
Volume 2; Issue 6

President's Message 
Dear Sisters,
The Christmas Season is upon us and we hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with your families. We want you all to know how grateful we are for all of you.

We have been truly blessed by attending some of your Enrichment meetings these past months. They all have been wonderful, so well planned out and so beneficial to the needs of the sisters in your wards. We thank all of those sisters on the Enrichment committees, who worked hard to make the evenings such a great success,

This past month we attended the 20th ward RS (enrichment) meeting.

Their theme was “Putting Christ in Christmas”. Several sisters shared their family traditions on how they do this and we came away filled with some great ideas to help put Christ back into Christmas.

One of their great ideas we would like to share in this newsletter was to hang a white stocking for Jesus along with the other stockings. Then each member of the family writes down something good that they have done on a piece of paper to put in the stocking as their gift to Jesus.

The word Christmas means more Christ. We know that there are several ways we can bring our Savior into our Christmas celebrations.

We just need to remember the gifts our Savior gave during His ministry here on Earth. All were based on love and service – the very best gifts.

President Spencer W. Kimball wrote a wonderful story called “The Wondrous Gift”; we are including this story in our newsletter as our gift to all you dear sisters. We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas.
Love, Shannon, Lori, Sammy and Jan



Christmas Cranberry Muffins
1 Cup Raw Cranberries (Chopped)
½ Cup Sugar
2 Cup Flour
¾ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
¼ Cup Sugar
1 Egg (Beaten)
¾ Cup Buttermilk
¼ Cup Shortening (Melted)
Mix cranberries & ½ cup sugar; let stand overnight.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and ¼ cup sugar. In separate bowl, mix together egg, buttermilk, & melted shortening. Add all at once to sifted dry ingredients; add cranberry mixture & stir.

Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full; bake @ 400°F for 20 minutes. Yield: 16 Muffins.

Each muffin contains 122 calories, 3g fat, 21g carb, 108mg sodium, ½mg cholesterol, 25% calories from fat.

Christmas Chewy Caramel
1 Cup Butter or Margarine
1 Lb (~2½ Cup) Light Brown Sugar
1 Can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Pinch Salt
1½ tsp Vanilla Extract
In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, milk, corn syrup, and salt; bring to a boil, stirring constantly; heat to between 234° & 240°, or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface; cook for 2 minutes @ that temperature; remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Meanwhile, butter a 9 x 13 baking pan; when the caramel is ready, pour into the buttered pan; allow to cool completely @ room temperature; remove from the pan and cut into squares using scissors; wrap individual pieces in waxed paper or cellophane.

Yield: 32 Pieces; Prep Time: 10 min; Cook Time 30 min

Cannery News
Alicia Clayton
Stake Welfare Specialist
801-254-2450
Sandy Utah Home Storage Center Dry Pack (801-561-8104)
Saturday, Dec 19th - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Friday, Jan 29th - 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
These times have been reserved for our Stake.

The Wondrous Gift
By President Spencer W. Kimball
Christmastime is a glorious time of happy friendliness and unselfish sacrifice; a time of increased hospitality, devotion, and time; a time of the subduing of selfish impulses; a time of renewing friendships, cementing loosening ties, and the swelling of the heart. It transcends the individual, the family, the community, the nation; it approaches the universal, crosses borders, and touches many nations of the earth. Our caroling voices sing the sweet songs of Christmas reminiscent somewhat of the host of heavenly angelic voices in the long ago, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

We set up the evergreen tree with its gleaming, brightly colored lights; we hang wreaths and bells; and we light candles-all to remind us of that wondrous gift, the coming of our Lord into the world of mortality.

We send Christmas cards to numerous friends and relatives, pulling back into happy memories the loved ones who have moved out of our immediate association. Like the wise men who opened their treasury and presented to Jesus gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh, we present to our loved ones things to eat and wear and enjoy.

Though we make an effort to follow the pattern of gift giving, sometimes our program becomes an exchange - gift given for gift expected. Never did the Savior give in expectation. I know of no case in his life in which there was an exchange. He was always the giver, seldom the recipient. Never did he give shoes, hose, or a vehicle; never did he give perfume, a shirt, or a fur wrap. His gifts were of such a nature that the recipient could hardly exchange or return the value. His gifts were rare ones: eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and legs to the lame; cleanliness to the unclean, wholeness to the infirm, and breath to the lifeless. His gifts were opportunity to the down-trodden, freedom to the oppressed, light in the darkness, forgiveness to the repentant, hope to the despairing. His friends gave him shelter, food, and love. He gave them of himself, his love, his service, his life. The wise men brought him gold and frankincense. He gave them and all their fellow mortals resurrection, salvation, and eternal life. We should strive to give as he gave. To give of oneself is a holy gift.



Keeping Christ in Christmas
http://lds.org - Ensign 2006 December; Questions & Answers
In our home there is a box. It is not a terribly large box, and it certainly isn’t an expensive box. However, it is nicely presented and is the most priceless box we own. Why? Because of our family’s simple tradition centered around that humble box.

On Christmas Eve, just before tucking everyone into bed, we gather around our box with pen and paper. We have spent the past several family home evenings preparing for this moment. After a prayer, we each write down our intended gift to the Savior. Respectfully, we fold up our papers and place them into the box. No one reads them, and no one tells of their gift. It is a personal and sacred promise. When everyone is through, we close up the box and put it in a special place under the tree.

This simple box with its contents becomes our first gift of the season, and it goes to the One who gave us everything!
Yvette T. Joyner, England
I love advent calendars and watching the anticipation of my children as we count down the days until Christmas. I wanted the focus of our countdown to be more spiritual, though. I came up with the idea of wrapping inexpensive treats, one for each of the 12 days before Christmas. I labeled each one with a scripture reference describing a gift Heavenly Father has given us.

Every night for family scripture time, we have a child select one of these wrapped presents. We read the scripture references on the package and bear our testimonies of that gift in our lives. The 12 gifts I chose the first year were the Creation, agency, prayer, opposition, charity, scriptures and revelation, prophets, the Holy Ghost, eternal life and exaltation, the Resurrection, families, and Christ’s Atonement. After family prayer, our children open the present and share the treat inside.

The excitement of counting down the days until Christmas is still there, but it is tempered by reverence and appreciation for the great gifts we have already received from a loving Heavenly Father. Each year we select different gifts to focus on, but always we end on Christmas Eve with the gift of our Savior’s life and Atonement.
Aleta Clegg, Utah