Monday, December 23, 2013

This is Christmas....

 You can build gingerbread houses with your kids.
Decorate a Christmas tree.
Attend countless festive parties. 
Tour a neighborhood decorated with bright Christmas lights.... and still not feel the spirit of Christmas.
Then one Sunday you sit in the chapel-
 sing a Christmas hymn, take the sacrament,
and listen to testimonies  of faith, hope, forgiveness......

 ... your heart starts to thaw and
you allow the spirit of Christ to envelope you.

 Later that Sabbath day,  you're visited by your Home Teachers who
 bring a plate of cookies and a Christmas message. 
You feel the spirit they bring into your home
and long after they still feel it.

 You attend another meeting where members share their struggles
and the healing power of the Savior. 
The spirit of the Lord is felt very strongly.

 After that meeting, you attend the Stake Christmas sing along concert. 
You listen to a message from the Stake presidency,
 sing songs of praises of Christ's birth.
 The spirit of the Lord flows freely throughout the chapel.

And when you finally settle into your home
after a long Sunday filled with meetings.
You realize, "This is Christmas." 
It's not the activities or the holiday traditions
 that can consume you during the Christmas season.
Christmas is the spirit of Christ. 
I have kept a busy Christmas calendar
so that I could capture the feeling of Christmas,
when all along the spirit of Christmas was something as simple
as going to church and partaking the sacrament.
It took me a long time to get there....but today I finally felt Christmas.

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