Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas day has arrived again this year. Our family opened presents yesterday because my oldest son Brandon is spending today with his mother and her family. Everyone was happy with what they got so the secular part of our Christmas went without incident.

But Christmas really isn't about the presents it's about the birth of Jesus. As a kid I always went to Christmas services. The Episcopal church pulls out all the stops for the day (Easter is the same way). But now that I'm LDS I get to stay home with the family on Christmas day. Since I stay home most of the time anyway I'm wondering what I can do to make the day special. Sometimes (not often) I miss the religious pomp and circumstance that I knew growing up. Christmas is one of those times.

Today means a lot to me. I wouldn't be half the man that I am were it not for the effect of Christ in my life. Oh, I look to other teachers for lessons that didn't come through as clearly as I would have liked them, but Jesus is my first and last teacher. I still hope and pray for "Peace on earth, goodwill toward men." I still think Jesus is the best example for people to live in love and truth. And I still find the story of the manger convincing and compelling. What I don't do any more is show off to prove to the rest of the world that Christmas means as much to me as it did when I was five and played the second magi in a pageant. I've become a very quiet man, and perhaps that is for the best. Still, I want to do something for Christmas and more generally for Christ than I have been lately.

Christmas is a time of renewal. With the new year following close behind it is a time to reflect on the past and resolve to live better in the months ahead. It's a time to remember and work for peace and goodwill. I think that gets lost all to often in modern life. And the diversity in our society can blunt the message of Christmas all the more. Alex was part of a school pageant last week where they sang about a wish for a "magic song" that would bring world peace. But the pageant was empty of any reflection on Jesus. I just don't think the "song" works without him, and I hope I can make more people see that.

Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.



At 7:47 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

"Everyone was happy with what they got so the secular part of our Christmas went without incident." I'm thinking next year all the Grand Kids will get one gift, and they'll all get the same thing. A King James Version of the Bible with Luke.2 Verses 1 to 20 highlighted. That would make one of them happy, and she's not the oldest. I just wish the rest of them would learn the day is not about who gets the most or best gifts.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I'm sorry I wasn't up to helping make your Christmas more Christ-like. But, I do hope you found something that helped bring out the Christ in Christmas for you. Did dressing up help?


At 8:40 PM, Blogger small town girl said...

Very nice. I see that all the money hipe at Christmas not only takes way form the true meaning of the holiday for Christians, but also adds to the non-Christian anti-holiday sentiment.


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