Let me just start off by saying MERRY CHRISTMAS! Tis the season for… well, lots of awesome stuff. Unfortunately, however, this awesome stuff can get in the way of the true reason for the season. Lights, trees, gifts, colors, red suits, stockings, egg nog, cookies, carols, more lights, more cookies. It really is a ton of fun, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying all these things that go along with our Christmas celebrations. It’s part of why I absolutely love this time of year.
However, many times we allow these wonderful things to take presidence over the Savior Himself. It is, afterall, called Christmas, a term that evolved from the phrase Christemasse (Christ’s Mass). Every church service is already dedicated to Him, but this time we put special emphasis on the meaning of His birth. Gifts and such are great, but they are nothing in comparison to the greatest gift we have ever received. It is a gift from our Father in Heaven, His Son Jesus Christ.
But let’s not go the opposite way here. Some may shun these traditions because… well… their origins are kind of… sketchy. Take the actual time of the Christmas holiday, December 25th. Christ was obviously not born on this day. With some simple deductive reasoning, we can assume the Savior was born in the springtime. The time of the traditional Christmas season has a pagan source, as does some other things surrounding it, i.e., chimneys and fire gods. But none of that really matters. What matters is what we get out of Christmas.
What matters is the spirit of Christmas, which has no preference to how close we celebrate to Jesus’ actual birthday, or how thick the Christmas tree is, or how many gifts are resting under it, or whether or not we decided to put lights on the house this year.
A famous preacher named Peter Marshall once said, “Let us not spend Christmas … but let us keep Christmas in our hearts and in our lives.”
This Christmas season, I invite you, the reader, as well as myself, to follow the counsel of the Savior Jesus Christ and lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven where, unlike the gifts under the tree, moth and rust do not corrupt, and thieves cannot steal.
Let us worship our Savior. Let us remember Him always, but especially now. Like I said before, the gifts we receive from our friends and family are nice, but the greatest gift we have and will ever receive came from our Father in Heaven, the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. The Savior’s atonement will always be the best present. This is a gift that we can enjoy each and every day. It will never grow old or fade away. This Christmas, let’s celebrate Christ. After all, ’tis the season.