Dallin Crump


I'm at the tail end of the first family Christmas vacation we've taken in three years, and it's been great.

Mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related circumstances, we have not spent Christmas with my extended family since 2019. Being able to do so this year has been a wonderful experience and a reminder to me of two things: the importance of being together with family, and the necessity of in-person human interaction.

I tend towards introversion. I don't mind being alone. I am a contemplative person and need solitude, quiet, and deep thinking to replenish myself. My initial reaction to social occasions is to avoid them. But most of the time when I push through that hesitation and go, I do enjoy them to some degree. I enjoy them even more if those social occasions are with family.

I am blessed to still have one living set of grandparents. I am their eldest grandchild, and my son is their eldest great-grandchild. This is our second opportunity this year to spend time with them, and these have been special visits. Video calls with them would not be the same – they are no substitute for sitting on a couch together talking, feeling that tangible connection that comes just from being around loved ones.

This has been a lovely time. While I am ready to return to our “regular” life, I also wish I had more time. I wish I didn't live so distant from my extended family that I only get to be with them a couple times a year. Still, it makes those times all the more meaningful.


#100DaysToOffload (No. 98) #family #life #Christmas

One last Christmas video. Despite some disappointing turns of events that prevented us from seeing some loved ones, this has been the most joyous Christmas season for me in at least three years.

May we always be grateful for God's incomparable gift of His Son. And may we always be looking for gifts of time, love, and service to give to Him.

What shall we give to the babe in the manger? What shall we offer the child in the stall? Incense and spices and gold we've aplenty. Are these the gifts for the king of us all? 

What shall we give to the boy in the temple? What shall we offer the man by the sea? Palms at his feet and hosannas uprising, Are these for him who will carry the tree? 

What shall we give to the man who was offered, Rising the third day and shedding his love? Tears for his mercy we'll weep at the manger, Bathing the infant come down from above.


#100DaysToOffload (No. 93) #Christmas #faith #music

There are certain traditions and activities that embody the spirit of Christmas. Live performances of Handel’s Messiah are certainly in this category.

My wife had the opportunity to play violin in a community performance of this masterpiece and my son and I had the opportunity to enjoy it in the audience.

For a community choir and orchestra made up of volunteers, it sounded excellent. Singing along, especially with the Halleluja chorus, one couldn't help but feel the spirit of Christmas – the spirit of Christ.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)

#100DaysToOffload (No. 83) #music #Christmas #faith

Tonight I participated in our Stake “Choirside” (a play on the word “fireside”). All of the ward choirs performed a Christmas song centered on Jesus Christ.

At the end, the entire congregation sang O Holy Night together with piano and organ accompaniment and it was quite a powerful and moving experience.

Traditions like these really help me get into the real spirit of Christmas and set the tone for the season.

#100DaysToOffload (No. 76) #Christmas #music #faith

A favorite Christmas song of mine that has been covered countless times is David Foster's Grown-Up Christmas List.

The music and lyrics are brilliant and so beautifully echo my own desires at Christmas and all year.

I thought I'd share a lovely, little-known rendition I discovered some years ago.

Do you remember me I sat upon your knee I wrote to you with childhood fantasies

Well I'm all grown up now And still need help somehow I'm not a child but my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish My grown up Christmas list Not for myself but for a world in need

No more lives torn apart That wars would never start And time would heal all hearts And everyone would have a friend And right would always win And love would never end This is my grown up Christmas list

As children we believe The grandest sight to see Was something lovely wrapped beneath the tree

But Heaven only knows That packages and bows Can never heal a hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart That wars would never start And time would heal all hearts And everyone would have a friend And right would always win And love would never end This is my grown up Christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth

No more lives torn apart That wars would never start And time would heal all hearts And everyone would have a friend And right would always win And love would never end

This is my grown up Christmas list This is my only lifelong wish This is my grown up Christmas list


#100DaysToOffload (No. 75) #Christmas #music

It's old, cheesy, and obscure. Just the kind of Christmas video I like.

It stars Jimmy Stewart and features the Tabernacle Choir. Need I say more?

Merry Christmas!

#100DaysToOffload (No. 73) #Christmas #movies

I'm ready for the holiday break. We're planning on visiting extended family this year and we'll hopefully see a few people we haven't seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic (2019).

Also, I need a change of scenery and a break from the work routine. Working from home has its advantages, but it can also be pretty monotonous and the days tend to blur together in stretches.

Christmas celebrations with family are just the thing I need to reset and rejuvenate.

Two weeks to go, and then I'm on vacation the rest of the year!

#100DaysToOffload (No. 72) #life #Christmas

Another favorite Christmas video that I have watched every year since I first saw it is a music video of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square singing Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.

The music is sublime, as always. But the video itself is amazing and symbolic on so many levels.

It depicts a prison inmate being released. They intentionally never show his face, I think, because we are supposed to imagine ourselves in his place. Are we not all prisoners of sin and death? Do we not all need Jesus Christ to set us free?

“Christ the babe was born for you.”


#100DaysToOffload (No. 69) #Christmas #faith #music

The past couple years I have been mailing Christmas cards to family and loved ones and I plan to keep doing so in the future.

I've probably only done so a handful of years out of the 17 years I've been married. It's easy to justify not continuing this tradition. Modern technology provides so many ways to wish someone a Merry Christmas. Why send a dumb old card when you can send someone an email, text, or instant message? Or even audio or video call them personally?

All of those methods are great, but I don't think they are an adequate substitute for a Christmas card. When most of the mail we get these days is bills, junk mail, etc. it's so nice to get something different.

When you get a letter, note, postcard, greeting card, etc. from a friend or loved one, it brings some joy to your day. That message, whatever it may be, is meant just for you. It represents the time and effort someone took to write, sign, put in an envelope, stamp, and mail that item to you. And these days, people do it not expecting anything in the mail in reply.

Christmas cards are extra special because they are full of “good tidings of great joy” that add to the magic of the season. We have a tradition of hanging these cards in a certain place on the living room wall as we receive them. They are a reminder that we are remembered and loved, to remember and love others, and to remember and love the reason we celebrate the season: Jesus Christ.


#100DaysToOffload (No. 64) #Christmas #intentionism

Eight years ago I saw a Christmas ad that I enthusiastically shared that year and every year since. It has become one of my favorite Christmas videos and seems to only get more relevant with time. In truth it is more of a mini-documentary than an ad.

It relates the true story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 – when British and German soldiers both laid down their arms of war, emerged from their trenches, and came together as brothers for one day.

Discuss... #100DaysToOffload (No. 61) #Christmas