I love Christmas time for all of the traditions and music and food that comes out at this time of year. I love the special music, the food that we save for this special time, and all of the little events that connect us together with every Christmas our family has enjoyed. I feel close to my family and love the connections to them at this time of year. I miss those who are from Christmases past and I look forward to all the joys of Christmases present and future.
I don’t particularly like the commercialism that has crept into Christmas. Christmas has become more about big deals, expensive gifts for others and even the gifts people now buy for themselves. I also don’t like how the pressures of being politically correct have tried to chase Christ from Christmas. The concerts at the school have moved from “Christmas Concerts” to “Holiday Concerts” to “Winter Concerts.” The world has tried to remove so much of what has always made Christmas special. I refuse to let it happen.
One of the trends of this pushing of Christmas to something less than sacred and special has been captured for me in a phrase I am hearing so often this year. I hear it from wives and mothers. I have heard it from young parents. I have heard it from friends whose parents have passed away and they are now stepping into the roles that Grandma or some other relative occupied.
I have heard it in so many places and ways. It is something like “I have to make Christmas happen” or “There is so much to do to make Christmas happen.” Interesting.
Making Christmas Happen?
I read my scriptures every day of the year. However, at Christmastime, I love to read the Christmas Story in Luke and Matthew. Then, I love to go to the end of the Savior’s life and read about His Atonement. It is a sacred experience! I am always moved to tears. This year it was especially touching to reflect on Jesus’ response to Pilate right before the crucifixion. Pilate asked Jesus “Art thou a king then?” Jesus responded, “To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world.” This is incredible to me! Having just reflected on the humble birth, the announcement to the shepherds, and the visit of the wise men (which of course was a couple of year’s later, but still nice to read about at this traditional time to do so), I was so humbled to ponder on Christ being born for the very purpose of His death. To think that His humble birth would really be nothing to remember if not for His death. His precious and sweet coming would not be that noteworthy if not for His death. They are connected. The first becomes sacred because of the last. His coming is sanctified by His departing. I truly have a testimony that God loved the world so He gave His son. That was Christmas. It happened then. Then, the miracle of that birth impacts us all because Jesus so loved the world that He gave His life for all of us. It happened then. How blessed we are with such sweet love. Christmas reminds us that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ saved us. How great was their gift in making Christmas happen!
So, perhaps, if we are stressed out about our little traditions, meal-planning, and our so-called work to “make Christmas happen,” we can remember that Christmas already happened. It happened when the Christ Child was given. It happened when the Living Christ gave Himself for our sins. That is what Christmas is to me. They made it happen. I, for one, am going to stress less about the pressures of the world and remember in special ways that Christmas already happened. I don’t need to do anything to make Christmas happen. I just need to enjoy the sacred witness that it already did. Doing that brings sweet peace and feelings of goodwill in my heart. I am glad I don’t have to make Christmas happen. I am blessed at Christmas time and every day of the year because it already did!
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