This Christmas I have been especially filled with that Cheery Christmas Spirit. It's probably the best one since I was a kid and Christmas was nothing but Magical. I can't believe it's already here (two days!!) It's so fun to celebrate all month, and sad to see Christmas go. But I would like to share with you the symbols of Christmas that have brought new and restored meaning to the "Meaning of Christmas" as we relate them to Christ and the gospel.We had an awesome Relief Society activity on a "Christ Centered Christmas" this month. What I remember most was one sister going through all the symbols of Christmas and their meanings. Some of them you already know, and some are awakenings to me.
The Christmas Tree: In one of Brady's board books (I think Grandma Dianne sent it) it talks about the Legends of the Christmas tree. One of them I especially liked: that the tree has three points, like a triangle, yet is ONE tree. Just as God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three beings yet ONE God in purpose. The Evergreen tree also represents Eternal Life. Christ has given us all the free gift of Immortality after this life. We can live forever. Green represents life! Green is also my favorite color, and I'm especially grateful for it in the Evergreen trees in the winter! The tree also helps remind me to focus my perspective heaven-ward as it points up. We must always acknowledge God in our lives and keep an Eternal Perspective. The Star on top reminds us of that star the shepherds saw to notify them of the Saviors birth. And if you have an Angel on top, it represents the angel who came to Mary and Joseph to announce that she would be the mother of our Savior.
Presents: Obviously presents represent those given to Christ on his birthday by the wise men. Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Likewise we give gifts to one another, but we need not forget it is still Christ's birthday, and we must put the most thought into what we will give HIM for HIS Birthday. This will be the most meaningful gift for us and HIM.
Lights: We put up lights and candles to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world. All that is good is of God. And to represent that Star on His starry night.
Santa: Jolly Old Saint Nick, although he isn't "real", he brings a real spirit, as does our Savior. He is a Christ-like figure that we shouldn't discount. He loves us. He knows us, and weather we are "naughty or nice" as does our Savior. He works all year to bring us that perfect gift, and has lots of little Elf hands helping him; just as God and Christ's work is our Immortality and Eternal life or Happiness and WE are his helpers in each others lives. He wears RED to symbolize the blood of Christ with WHITE fringe to represent Christ's sanctity and purity that we can have through the Atonement. He also might wear black boots and black gloves symbolizing SIN, which he can take away from us through the Atonement.
Rudolph: The Red Nose Reindeer, who at first was disliked by others who used to "laugh and call him names". But he had a special light (on his nose), and in the end all were dependent on him to light the way. Like Christ, he was rejected of men and stricken with grief, but in then end, he is our Savior from Sin and is our Example to 'light' our way.
Christmas Shopping: OK this one is my favorite (not shopping-the analogy:)). We've all been there. Black Friday; the Saturday before Christmas when everyone is Christmas shopping at the mall or wherever. The traffic is crazy; people are searching for that perfect gift; shipping things off to arrive on time; hurrying to get home for the holidays etc. Yet we are all "Anxiously engaged in a good cause"; we are thinking of others, their needs, wants, wishes, and trying to get them that gift. There is that hustle and bustle and a little bit of craziness, but imagine for a moment with me if that "good cause" was spreading the gospel. If we were all anxiously trying to give the gift of the gospel to those who don't have it yet. The greatest gift of all, Eternal life. And the Knowledge of how to receive Eternal Life. What if we were all so good of missionaries, "member missionaries", and in such a hurry for it. This is how it should be in reality. And having served a mission, and literally running to appointments, walking the streets all day, knocking doors to share this GOOD NEWS. This IS how I felt on my mission. What a gift the gospel is to us, we must share it, and in a hurry!!!
I'm sure you can think of many other symbols of Christmas, there are many others, but these are the ones I wanted to share.
Merry Christmas. Remember who's birthday it is.