Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 346, December 16

"When we keep the Spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ."--President Thomas S Monson, Prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

What is the Spirit of Christmas?   Is it the giving of presents?  That is part of it.  Is it performing acts of service?  Yet another part.  Is it finding joy in the Christmas hymns?  Still another part.  None of these, however, embrace the true Spirit that we, sometimes, try to feverishly capture.

Christ's birth occurred in humble circumstances.  It was not heralded with the sounding of trumpets but with the voice of an angel announcing it to the shepherds.  Christ came into the world with a quietness that is at odds with the noise and confusion of our present culture.  There was no fancy layette with which to receive him, no costly banquets with which to celebrate this most holy event the world has ever known.

And, perhaps, this is how we should pattern our Christmas celebrations.  Quietly.  Softly.  Reverently.  One of my sweetest Christmas memories occurred many years ago when our family was struggling financially.  Someone left a box of food on our doorstep.  Inside were a turkey, the fixings for stuffing, fresh fruit, homebaked bread and jellies, and pie.  There was no note, no indication of our benefactor.  I started to look at our friends and neighbors with new eyes, wondering who had put together such a thoughtful and much-needed gift.

That anonymous act brought the Spirit of Christmas into our home ... and into my heart. 

This I know for sure:  the Spirit of Christmas should not belong to one month but should be kept throughout the year.

1 comment:

  1. A mutual friend sent an email to me of a mob choir. They sang religious Christmas songs in a mall. The last song was "O Holy Night", and they had actors come forward portraying Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus. When the choir came to the lyrics, "fall on your knees", they did, and many in the audience followed suit. There was one boy in particular I noticed. He decided to kneel. It seemed at that point that he was so affected that he was glad to have a way to show what he was feeling. He looked as I imagine one of the shepherd boys who came to the stable would have looked.

    Charles Dickens, through one of my favorite friends, A Christmas Carol, encouraged us to keep Christmas all the year. It's that reverential awe and wonder I saw on the boy's face that I want to keep all the year. I want to kneel, not because I know I'm supposed to, but because I am impelled to through the gratitude in my heart.