It’s not every day you get to cross multiple items off your bucket list with your seven-year-old daughter. Lily and I joined over 1,000 volunteers and talented Youtubers and musicians to help create an amazing music video and beat the Guinness Book record for Largest Live Nativity.
It was the perfect way to usher in the Christmas season and the experience was not at all what I expected. Upon signing up for the opportunity, I was excited to help beat the record and perhaps have the opportunity to meet the likes of David Archuleta, Mindy from Cute Girls Hairstyles, Alex Boye, Studio C cast members, and others. What came about was an entirely different experience which I am excited to share below. But first, please watch the extraordinary video!
Can you feel it? This beautiful collaboration brought together The Piano Guys, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Stuart Edge, the Shaytards, and many others in a massive effort to #SharetheGift and the true meaning of Christmas.
Singing with the Tabernacle Choir on the Rock Canyon Park hillside as we looked down on the nativity scene brought me to tears. What it would have been like to witness the Savior’s birth! I held my seven year old up for several hours as we completed camera take after camera take in the cold. Several times I asked Lily if she was too cold and wanted to leave. Her response, “Mom! This is important. We need to sing for the baby Jesus so that people will know how special this is.” Yes, she realized that it wasn’t the real baby Jesus, but she also recognized the truly precious and vital message that was being shared. Jesus Christ is the gift.
Here’s a little behind the scenes of our memorable experience.
When I first heard of the collaboration for the Largest Live Nativity, I knew it was something I wanted to be part of. My daughter and I had done extra work for Just Let Go (coming out in 2015) so I knew that Lily would be up for the challenge. We bundled up in our white clothes and were thrilled for slightly warmer temperatures that day. Lily was able to wear my baptism dress one more time. Loved this since she is already outgrowing it and won’t be able to wear it for her baptism day next June.
Joining the long line of angels at Rock Canyon Park in Provo, my little angel spent the time waiting and twirling to her heart’s content. Patience is definitely needed as an extra and Lily is getting pretty good at entertaining herself! My favorite part of the waiting was getting to know the people around us. We practiced words to the beautiful song you heard in the video, exchanged stories, and bonded together in the cold. Looking back, I wish I had gotten their names. The name of the kind women who loaned Lily her jacket on the hillside. The name of the mother/daughter duo who we laughed with in between camera takes (how we were wishing that we had Snuggies in white!). The name of the teenagers who were kind and laughed at all of Lily’s jokes while we waited in our formation with the LED lights. All good people!
The first part of the evening was the actual breaking of the Guinness Book World Record for Largest Live Nativity. Lily adores animals and was in heaven petting the lambs, camel, and donkey.
Next came practicing with our LED angel costumes. Since Lily was under the age of 12, we had originally only signed up to be part of the World Record. I was a little disappointed to not be part of the video, but didn’t know how much Lily would be up to doing at the park. She did amazingly and begged to stay when they asked for more volunteers. So we were in! This little gal did so well following the directions and waiting patiently even when the temperatures dropped after the sun set.
Lily and I loved checking out the technology used for the video shoot. She was fascinated by the giant balloons that held the cameras during our light scene. The drone on the hillside was pretty cool, too! The sheer organization and man power it took to organize this successful attempt a the World Record was incredible. Each of our spots was marked out on a grid on the ground for the aerial light scene at the end of the video.
When I signed up for this experience, I went into it as a blogger and as a fun experience to share with my daughter. What fun to sing with the Tabernacle Choir and be in a music video! I came away with so much more. Even if you look very close, you probably won’t catch sight of Lily and I in the video (you can catch a quick glimpse of us 3:08 and in the picture below), but I know we were there and I know what we felt. What a privilege be a part of such an undertaking to share the true meaning of Christmas.
As we sang on the hillside, I couldn’t help but be overcome by emotion. What joy the heavens must have felt when the Savior of the World was born! Lily asked me if we might have been angels at the Savior’s birth long, long ago. I told her that I didn’t know for sure, but that I sure hoped so! Lily sang her little heart out and quickly memorized the words to the song. Watching her sing Gloria time after time after time, filled my heart! That night we went home full of excitement at what we had just had witnessed and experienced.
This one experience captured an important lesson in life for me. We each have an essential part to play. Some are angels. Some are shepherds. Some are directors. Some are cameraman. Without each person in the cast of over a thousand, the world record and music video would not have been possible. As it is with life, we show up – ready to do whatever is asked of us. Sometimes we need to experience the same things repeatedly in order to learn the full lesson being taught. Sometimes the weather or other variables don’t cooperate with what we are trying to accomplish, but we unite in prayer and keep moving forward to the end goal. In the end, something beautiful and inspiring is created. Every cold moment, every dark moment, every moment waited is worth it. And the reason it is worth it is because of what our Savior Jesus Christ has promised us.
May we all keep moving forward in our life’s goals and stories together and remember to #sharethegift this holiday season. If you would like to see more inspiring videos about the true meaning of Christmas please visit this web-site. You can download a free track of the beautiful song from the music video at this link. Please share!
What is your favorite Christmas memory this year?