I’ve started a class by Jessica Sprague called Holidays In Hand and I would like to make a book for my boys about their childhood holidays.
What are our holiday values? For me at Thanksgiving it was to teach our children to be thankful for their many blessings and the forbearers who came to this country so that they and their descendants could have freedoms that they didn’t have elsewhere. I wanted them to understand how blessed they were to live in a country where they could worship openly without the threat of persecution or tyranny.
At Christmas I wanted our family to celebrate the birth of our Savior and the love that He and our Heavenly Father have for each and every one of us. To cherish the Gospel that was restored to this earth. To treasure the family that they were born into and to be thankful for the way that the Gospel of Jesus Christ had molded their lives. For many of us in the United States we have become a huge melting pot of culture and environment. We don’t keep many of the cultural traditions of our forbearers. Those of us whose families left other countries generations ago can look on a pedigree chart and see that we came from a certain country but we don’t know a lot about the people or their culture. Some of us can even look in the mirror and see physical traits that we still have such as skin color, hair color, face shape or stature. In our family our culture has been our religion, where we live, our families and even our careers.
As we celebrated Christmas we also got caught up in the worlds view of Christmas. Santa, Reindeer, presents, candy, etc. Sometimes it was hard to remember the true meaning of Christmas with the lights glowing on the tree and presents underneath. Sadly at the holiday time there are so many who don’t have enough to eat or a safe warm place to sleep. As we contribute to help them we also experience the spirit of giving without thinking of what we will receive. What we do receive though is that warm glow inside knowing that we have helped to lift another's burden and to be thankful for our own circumstances.
As I watch my grandchildren, I get to experience the magic and peace of Christmas through their eyes. OK, so Christmas morning isn’t so peaceful but the season also has times were we read the Christmas story out of Luke, sing carols out in the cold, listen to wonderful stories and music of faith and praise. Help someone in need. Those are the times we experience a little of the true meaning of the season.