Christmas. When you think of Christmas what do you think of? Who do you think of? Is it a little baby in a manger, is it a jolly old man who loves delivering gifts, is it snow and twinkling lights, or maybe for you it’s about a busy time of the year that you wish would just hurry up and get over already. Have you taken time this year to think about what Christmas really means to you? What SHOULD it mean to you? Why does it mean what it means to you? If you’re at all like me every year I find myself needing to refocus on what I feel like Christmas really means, what it’s really about. And the truth is, it comes down to one big reason.
For me Christmas is a busy time. I think most of us could agree. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of buying Christmas gifts, checking them off the list and moving on to the next thing we HAVE to get done before the big day. But what if that day never happened. What if Christmas was taken away from us? What if we didn’t see lights as we drove through neighborhoods? What if we didn’t hear Christmas music in every department store? What if families didn’t use this time to get together and celebrate. What if Christmas never even existed? Then what would you think? Then how would you feel?
I truly, honestly feel that if Christmas never would have happened, we wouldn’t be able to experience the daily hope and joy we feel. We wouldn’t be able to feel true peace; the peace that comes from knowing that no matter where we are in life, no matter what road we’ve traveled, there was a sweet, precious baby boy who was born, a man who lived and who died so you and I could get back on the right road that leads back to him. This baby, this boy, and this man’s name is Jesus Christ. For me, Christ is the reason for the season. He’s the reason we feel so much peace, joy, love and hope every day, but even more especially this time of year. It’s the time of year that we celebrate his birth; his humble, sweet, and perfect birth. I cannot think of a more precious moment for the world than this. His birth had been prophesied for many years before and has been celebrated for many years since. How are you going to celebrate this year? What can you do to bring Christ to your Christmas this season?
As I’ve mentioned many times before I was able to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tempe Arizona. I served among the hispanic communities and families. I was able to learn and eventually speak fluently the Spanish language, a gift for which I will be forever grateful. Now when I see the word “Christmas” I see the word “mas” on the end and I always want to stick it in the front. “Mas” in Spanish means “more”. So, for me it only makes sense for Christmas to mean, “more Christ”. I need more Christ. We all need more Christ. The world needs more Christ. More Christ means more peace, more hope, more positivity, and more love. More Christ means more service, more charity, more purity, and more endurance. It means more patience, more humility, more kindness, and more forgiveness. More virtue, more giving, more selflessness, and more mercy. If we all had a little more Christ in our lives and more importantly in our hearts, the world would be such a better, more positive and loving place. I truly believe it. I also believe that because we are just one person, we might not be able to change the world but we CAN influence it, and CHANGE ourselves.
Reminders are all around us if we would just open our eyes and hearts a little more. The evergreen tree can remind us of the everlasting life he gives us. The red ornaments can remind us of the drops of blood he shed for every single one of us and our sins. The white snow can help us reflect on his pure love and heavenly virtue. The lights help us to remember that He truly is the light of the world, and that it was by a light that the wisemen were directed to him. We too can be brought to his light through wise men and women who have his light with them. The gifts under the tree can help us remember the gift of life he has given as well as the many gifts of peace, love and joy in our everyday lives. The shape of the tree itself acts as an arrow pointing towards the heavens, reminding us to always look upward toward him. The gold reminds us of the gifts the wisemen brought to their King, our Savior. These, their most precious gifts help us reflect on what WE can give to Him too. Santa Clause, the jolly old man dressed in Christ’s colors: red for the blood he shed, white on his cuffs for the forgiveness of sin he offers, and black gloves on his hands for the sins he has taken from us. He does it so willingly and with so much love. What about Rudolf? The reindeer everyone made fun of because of the light he carried. The same light that led so many gifts to all the world. There are so many reminders that help us reflect on the true reason and important role that Christmas, and more importantly that Christ plays in our lives.
As I reflect and focus on my Savior Jesus Christ who was born, lived, and died for little ole’ Shanell, I cannot help but be brought to tears for the pure and enduring love he has for me. How is it possible? I can’t comprehend it honestly, but what I DO know is what I have felt in my heart as I have truly tried to live in a way that he would live. Obviously I’m not perfect, He’s the only one whoever was or will be, but I have felt the power of his redeeming love. I have felt the sweet feeling of forgiveness. I have felt the hope and peace that comes because of his sacrifice, that I will be with my family forever if I but only follow him and his wisdom.
So the real question is why WOULDN’T I want to celebrate Christmas? Why wouldn’t I want more Christ in my life? If this is my opportunity to feel a little more spirit, a little more peace, and a little more love then YES I’ll celebrate Christmas! I celebrate, shout hosanna, and sing Joy to the World every single day of my life. Christmas, in my mind should not only be celebrated once a year, but the ENTIRE year. I might not have a christmas tree in my home for 12 months, but I can tell you that I will strive daily to enjoy the sweet peace and hope that comes from that precious moment in that humble stable so many years ago. I’ll enjoy the love and spirit that comes as I turn to him over and over again, submitting my carnal will to his eternal plan.
I want everyone to know of the joy that comes through and because of our Savior. I want more Christ in my celebration. I want ALL of us to have more Christ this year. Why? Because He is life. Without Him, Christmas DOESN’T exist, and true peace is void. So I ask again, what are you doing this year to have “mas Christ” in your life? Come, let us adore him!