The Anza Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presents annual ‘Christmas around the World’ celebration

The adorable Nativity scene children pose for pictures at the “Christmas around the World” celebration Saturday, Dec. 9. Diane Sieker photo

The Anza The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented their “Christmas around the World” celebration Saturday, Dec. 9, at the church in Anza. Residents of the community, as well as church members, attended the special festivities.

Norman Faleono opened the event with the invocation.

The evening highlighted the beauty and hope of the season and featured an excellent dinner of ham, scalloped potatoes, salad, rolls, vegetable medley and decadent desserts. Each table was decorated with a theme portraying a different country or region of the world. Japan, Norway, United States and Germany were among the “destinations.” The centerpieces and other ornaments on the tables were detailed, authentic and exquisite. The Japanese table included a printed description of how the Japanese celebrate Christmas – with Kentucky Fried Chicken and white cake topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. The hostess of the table even ordered a special Japanese-style cake to share with everyone in the room.

The meal was satisfying, and the fellowship around the room was reason enough to celebrate. Adults conversed, and children wriggled in their seats, eager to see if Santa would appear.

After the feast, church President Glen Holmes announced that the children would make a small presentation, amid much fanfare. The little ones appeared on a movie screen, acting out a rendition of “The 12 Days of Christmas” and presented in a live Nativity scene in the dining room, complete with a tiny, live baby Jesus held squirming in “Mary’s” arms. The kids posed patiently while moms took their pictures before running off excitedly to wait for Santa. It was rumored that the jolly old elf may actually be in the building.

Sure enough, Santa Claus appeared with his trusty assistant, who checked kids’ names on her tablet. She knew who was naughty and nice before letting them sit with Kriss Kringle to reveal their Christmas wishes.

Chandra Noble Sjostrand took her brood of delightful children to visit with Santa, listening carefully to what they told him.

“We all had a wonderful evening,” Sjostrand said.

For more information on upcoming events at the Anza Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, call (951) 763-2835.

Leave a Reply