Monday, December 5, 2011

The Reason for the Season

My friend, Michelle, shared this beautiful song/video by Shawna Edwards entitled, "Do You have Room." I hope you enjoy it.

I shouldn't even open this can of worms, but it's something I've been thinking about. I decided yesterday that Christmas, for me, is about two separate things. 1 - the message of Christ in this song, and 2 - Santa and presents and excitement. The older I get, the less I see them intertwined. I've always been one to try and focus on the Savior and mix in the Santa and pagan stuff, but really, when it comes down to Christmas day, who is it really about? Um, Santa and how much stuff I got.

If I were really die-hard about changing tradition, though, I'd probably get rid of the tree and the stockings and whatnot, but I like them. I like the presents. I like getting them. I like giving them. I like the parties. I sort of like the decorations -- just not putting them up. I like the generosity that comes out in people this time of the year. There's a lot of good that happens. There's a Family Home Evening Lesson that we even did last Monday about what decorations can symbolize, yet part of me feels that those definitions are kind of pushing it to make the pagan fit with the Christian (you also see this in a lot of the books and stories out there).  I have to admit, that if you aren't going to believe in Christ and celebrate his birth, the next best thing is probably exemplifying the goodness of St. Nick to those around you.  I guess I see it as a matter of good, better, best.  I'd say it's obviously nice to be a good person, it's better to be kind and giving toward people in the name of Santa Claus, but it's best to follow Jesus Christ and exemplify his attributes towards others.

I guess if I were to redefine Christmas, I suppose I'd keep the Santa stuff in December and move the religious part of it to Spring/Easter, rather than trying to mix it together.  But I think if I did that, the whole December Christmas stuff would kind of go the way of Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's Day and not a lot would happen -- I guess I'm not so big with traditions and holidays.  Or, I suppose I could do the Savior stuff on Christmas Eve and the Santa stuff Christmas Day, but that seems backwards to me -- shouldn't it be the Savior stuff ON Christmas?  Oh, how could you not do presents on Christmas?  Wouldn't that be kind of a let down? I guess you could justify it by the wise men brought presents to Christ and Christ is a gift to all of us. . .

Anyway, I do love Christmas.  I love the Savior and my testimony of Him.  I'm grateful for a restored Church of Jesus Christ on this earth. I'm grateful for all the other Christians and other people out there who try and make this world a better place.

Enjoy the season!

P.S.  12/6/11:  Here are a couple advent ideas that I've wanted to look more into.  1 - a 25-days Christmas book from Hands full and loving it and scriptures/ideas from LDS Women of God.  And one more from Mormon Women.