Merry Christmas!Family and Christmas

I truly hope that each of you feels the love and warmth of Christmas this year.  I know that not all of you are Christian, but even if you aren’t, Christ has something to offer you.  Whether you believe him to be a simple honorable man, a chosen prophet, or the Son of God (as I do), the life He lived and the things he taught serve as a beautiful example for us to emulate in our homes and communities.

As we follow His example of love, generosity, patience, and selflessness, we will find strength, comfort, peace, stability and hope.

Yes, this can (and should) be done every day of the year, but I love the Christmas season because it helps me to re-focus my life on what truly matters most as I ponder the gift(s) He has given me.  I enjoy focusing on my family, spending more time with them giving and receiving love, generosity, patience, and selflessness.

I am so very grateful for what Christ has given me.  I am humbled and stand in awe of His gifts.

I have two videos to share with you today.  The first, Reflections of Christ, is a video we watch each Christmas Eve in our home.  It was created using actual images taken by Mark Mabry, which depict scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.  I love these images paired with the beautiful hymn “Come Thou Fount.”  For me, it brings to life the history of the Savior’s life and motivates me to better follow Him.  I hope that you enjoy it!

Every night at dinner time during December we take turns talking about a gift Christ has given us and a gift we would like to give to Him this season.  With 2, 4 and 6 year olds, sometimes this works better than others depending on how tired and hungry everyone is!  But there have been a few nights when I have been incredibly humbled by the things my children mention.

Children at ChristmasThey are grateful for Christ’s gift of little sisters and brothers, His gift of flowers, His gift of eyes, and His gift of a Mommy and Daddy.  They talk about giving Him the gift of whispering during church, of teaching their little sister to spell, of keeping their feet off the Christ’s furniture at church, and obeying more quickly.

Amid all the hustle and bustle of the season, my sweet children have reminded me every night at dinner to keep Christ in Christmas and to remember to Whom I truly am indebted and to Whom I truly want to give.

The 2nd video I have for you asks the question “What Shall We Give?”

I would invite you to ponder, as my children have encouraged me to, something simple, humble and maybe even a bit child-like that you can give to the Boy in the manger, to King of Kings this year.  A few things I’ve been inspired by my children to try:

  • Smiling MoreChrist in Christmas
  • Listening Better
  • Saying Nice Things to Strangers
  • Rolling my Eyes Less
  • Being a bit more patient in the car
  • Visiting Someone Who is Sick or Lonely
  • Saying I am Sorry More
  • Sharing Lunch with Friends More Often
  • Playing with My Kids More
  • Reaching out More to Those Who are Shy

What can you do to keep Christ in Christmas today, this week and all year?  From a man, now passed on, but that I believe to have been a prophet of God while he lived:

“This year, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and the speak it again.”  

-Howard W. Hunter

As this week of celebration and this year wraps up, I want you to know that I am also grateful for you!  Thank you for coming back to my blog again and again.  Thank you for your comments and interaction.  Thank you for telling your friends and family about my site.  It means more than you know!  Without you, I would be living my dream!

May you find peace, love and joy this season!