Salt Lake City's This Is the Place Heritage Park just concluded their 2012 Candlelight Christmas. I was able to attend on Friday night while briefly visiting relatives here in Utah. Visiting the exhibits in the pioneer village was surprisingly interesting in spite of the cold. The biggest surprise to me was the beautiful nativity scene in a real barn with real animals and real smells, with real parents and a baby boy. The setting and the beautiful music being played created a sense of reverence and sacredness that I found refreshing and uplifting. So simple but so beautiful.

Other highlights for me included the dancing (a simplified Virginia reel dance) that our group got to participate in. I also really enjoyed the Christmas carolers outside, the hot chocolate inside the Huntsman Hotel, and the exhibition featuring the mountain man showing us how pioneers and outdoorsmen of the day survived.

Thank you to the many volunteers who support this annual event. I hope I can return from China again next year and visit this special place once more.
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