Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Christmas Spirit

Another Christmas day has come and gone, and I have to admit that it's been wonderful today to just bask in the lights of the tree with the fire going, and have absolutely no "Christmas duties" or expectations required of me.  As wonderful as the holiday season is and as much as we want to keep the true spirit of Christmas in our homes and hearts, I would be completely off my rocker to say that during the month of December all is calm and peaceful, and everyone goes about their business cheerfully humming Christmas carols while the smells of gingerbread and wassail waft through our perfectly decorated and clean home . . .

I honestly don't know how my mother did it all, every year, but my memories of Christmas growing up were pretty much picture perfect . . . amazing Christmas eve candlelit meals, beautifully decorated (and spotless) home, memorable family shopping trips, plenty of baking, fun traditions, neighbor gifts . . . and I have absolutely no recollection of her ever being stressed, only taking a LONG nap on Christmas day.

My hope is that our children will remember the calm, peaceful moments of Christmas, such as holiday music playing while we bake cookies or make cinnamon rolls . . . not the crazy minutes before we leave while frantically wrapping treats and I'm barking orders to write labels, stick them on the gifts, and load the car!  I hope they will remember our nicely lit Christmas tree and not the fact that they had to decorate it all on their own because I was just too busy to help them this year; that their memories of our traditional family outing to Temple Square, dinner, and a concert was enjoyable (never mind the stress of finding a parking spot downtown, or the insanity of taking our crew to an eating establishment where they forget their manners); and they won't mind the fact that our Christmas eve dinner by candlelight was just pizza because I was too worn out to cook another meal.

It was a memorable Christmas, the kids are content and happy, our home cozy, and I'm well rested (after going to bed last night at 8:30pm :-).  For me, I was touched by the Christmas spirit most profoundly during my morning scripture reading Christmas eve.  I picked up the Book of Mormon and began reading where I had left off the day before, which happened to be some of Isaiah's most beautiful and inspiring words, and ever so fitting as we commemorate the birth of our Lord and Savior . . .

"Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for they shall be smitten no more; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.  But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me--but he will show that he hath not. . . . 
Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.   
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." 
 ~ 1 Nephi 21:12-26 (Compare Isaiah 49) ~

Merry Christmas

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I was just having those same thoughts on Christmas myself - hoping that my kids would remember the fun and the traditions, not the messes and stresses that seem to go along with them!