Starting just after Thanksgiving (and getting earlier and earlier every year), strange things start happening all around us.
Colored lights decorate many town centers and shops, the shiny decorations, and artificial snow painted on shop windows. Street lights are transformed into giant candy canes.
Evergreen trees with colorful blinking lights and other decorations sprout up all over the place, even in our own living rooms.
Cards and letters from friends and relatives with whom we haven’t had much contact in the last 12 months start finding their way into our mailboxes and then up on the walls or refrigerators inside our houses.
Bells start ringing outside places where parking lots are getting fuller and fuller every day.
All of a sudden people’s fashion senses begin to focus on the color red.
Shopping centers become busier and often stay open later than usual. Shopping center speaker systems will play different music than at other times of the year.
Front doors are adorned with wreathes of holly.
We start seeing stars in windows, red bows on the fronts of cars, we get the urge to go out and purchase things for our loved ones.
Our children inexplicably begin taking out the garbage and washing the dishes without being asked. Then they start telling us how good they’ve been this year, and telling us what they would really enjoy having in their arsenal of gadgets and playthings.
Radio and television programming is different.
Small groups of people wander up and down the streets aimlessly it seems singing songs to people they don’t even know.
A parade might roll through town with some big guy in a funny looking red suit perched atop a wagon drawn by a tractor… and later he’ll let children climb upon his lap and tell him the same things they’ve recently been telling their parents.
Homes start being decorated with colorful lights and ribbons and greenery, and the front yards start filling up with Homer Simpson, Snoopy, giant snow globes, and other inflatables.
Can you imagine what we look like to someone who doesn’t know what is going on here???
So just why do we do these things? Is this really what Christmas is all about??? And what is the true meaning of Christmas anyway?
In searching for the true meaning of Christmas, I went on a strange yet really fun journey, one I’d like to share with you.
Let’s start with some of those signs and symbols that we see all about us and try to find the true meaning of Christmas.
The Candy Cane
The Candy Cane represents shepherd's crook to keep sheep from straying. Reminds us we are our brother's keeper.
Rings out glad tidings of birth of Jesus. Also, sheep had a bell tied round neck so shepherd could hear where it was, and if in danger. Jesus always knows where we are and will help us when life gets difficult.
Remains green all year round and is a symbol of everlasting life.
Tied on gifts, shows we are all tied to each other with love as the family of mankind.
Reminds us of the gifts given to Jesus by the wise men, and the gift of everlasting life given to the whole world through the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the gift of eternal life with our Heavenly Father available to us, if we so desire it, and keep His commandments.
The star reminds us of the bright star that shone at the time of Jesus' birth.
Its circle shape shows that, just like love, it has no end, and never stops.
And the Candle
Gives light to a dark world. Jesus is the Light of the world.
OK... Did we find the true meaning of Christmas in those signs? Maybe, but let’s keep looking.
Maybe the true meaning of Christmas is in the Christmas carols that make us feel the Christmas spirit and remind us of the birth of our Lord and Savior when we sing or hear them. Silent Night! Holy Night! All is calm, all is bright… It Came upon a Midnight Clear, That glorious song of old… Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King… or my own personal favorite Christmas song that I’ll come back to later.
And what about the other Christmas songs that don’t really have anything to do with our Savior, but are still fun to sing? Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way… Frosty the Snowman… Rudolph the red nosed reindeer… We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year… or the song that was the top selling single of all time for decades until about 10 years ago, Bing Crosby’s I'm dreaming of a white Christmas… Just like the ones I used to know… Where the treetops glisten, and children listen… To hear sleigh bells in the snow.
Maybe it’s those other songs… and you all know the ones I’m talking about… Grandma got run over by a reindeer… Jingle Bells as sung (barked) by those dogs… Santa Claus Is Comin (In A Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train)… that Cheech and Chong thing about Santa Claus and the magic dust… or any number of versions of The 12 days of Christmas, including the redneck 12 days of Christmas by that “you might be a redneck” guy. Maybe the true meaning of Christmas is hidden in there somewhere.
Maybe the true meaning of Christmas is how we feel when we get together with friends and family and go out into some cold night and sing these songs, usually off key, and yes, sometimes even the grandma or redneck song, to other friends or even strangers, for no other reason than to make someone smile and feel some Christmas spirit. Maybe, but let’s press on.
Can the true meaning of Christmas be found in any or maybe even all of the Christmas specials on television?
What about that movie about Ralphie. Maybe he thought that he could shoot down and capture the true meaning of Christmas with an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, only to be told time and time again “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid”
A recent commercial on television states the following: (Television announcer voice) “TNT viewers will have a whole day to check out Bob Clark and Jean Sheperd's holiday touchstone when it airs 24 Hours of A Christmas Story, beginning at 8 p.m. ET on December 24 and running continuously through the next day, concluding with a final showing at 6 p.m. ET on Christmas Day.”
Not really about the true meaning of Christmas, although I will admit that I still love it when father and son are changing the tire and the lug nuts go flying. And just so you know, I plan to love that part again this year.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas really does have a nice little message. “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Do you think perhaps, that in that very moment, the Grinch discovered the true meaning of Christmas?
And then there’s Good ol’ Charlie Brown. Remember how dismayed he was by the behavior of his friends preparing (or NOT preparing) for the Christmas play? Remember his anguish when his little sister Sally asked him to write her letter to Santa? And remember his disgust when his beloved Snoopy was decorating his doghouse in anticipation of winning the big bucks for the first prize in the Christmas decoration contest? When he finally has enough, he shouted “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Those Christmas songs and specials on TV are but a small sample of the Christmas traditions that surround us all this time of year. One tradition we have in my own little family is that we take turns from year to year decoration the Christmas tree, and my girls are rarely satisfied with my own efforts.
Spending time with family is another tradition many people look forward to at Christmastime, watching football with Uncle Joe, seeing the excited look on the faces of the children as they open their presents, Grandmas and Aunts in the kitchen preparing that huge Christmas meal of turkey, or ham, or both… potatos, mashed just right or perhaps scalloped or sweet potatos… maybe a green bean casserole or two… some kind of geletin fruit salad… hot rolls fresh from the oven with lots of butter and possibly honey to spread on them… Hot apple cider or punch or egg-nog or hot cocoa to drink… and dessert, it’s waiting just in the other room, teasing everyone with those wonderful fragerances… pumpkin pie with whipped topping… that pink fluffy stuff…and Christmas cookies that look like snowmen and bells and Christmas trees. Known around these part as “The laying on of Christmas Dinner” And I couldn’t wait when I was a kid to be big enough to get to sit at the adult table. Now that I’m all growed up, I’m back at the kids’ table again, mostly by my own choice because there I can get away with teaching all the young ones how to hang spoons from their noses. Ya can’t do THAT at the big table.
Maybe the tradition that holds the true meaning of Christmas is the tradional Christmas stories that are read to children. Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”… Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match-Seller”… or the story that my own mother read when she was much younger than I am now sitting in a small rocking chair in the middle of my grandparents’ sitting room where the Christmas tree was… Clement Clarke Moore’s “Twas the Night before Christmas” to a group of children who were too busy opening presents and could not therefore be bothered or even pretend to pay attention. Sorry Mom.
Maybe we can locate the true meaning of Christmas in a non-traditional story like this one called…
A Brother Like That
Paul received an automobile from his brother as a Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it.
"Is this your car, Mister?" he asked.
Paul nodded. "My brother gave it to me for Christmas." The boy was astounded. "You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn't cost you nothing? Boy, I wish..." He hesitated. Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels.
"I wish," the boy went on, "that I could be a brother like that."
Paul looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added, "Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?"
"Oh yes, I'd love that."
After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, "Mister, would you mind driving in front of my house?" Paul smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbors that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Paul was wrong again.
"Will you stop where those two steps are?" the boy asked. He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Paul heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car. "There she is, Buddy, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Christmas and it didn't cost him a cent. And some day I'm gonna give you one just like it...then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the Christmas windows that I've been trying to tell you about."
Paul got out and lifted the lad to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride.
That Christmas Eve, Paul learned what Jesus meant when he had said: "It is more blessed to give..."
And just what about all that giving? Can we really measure the true meaning of Christmas by the number of dollars we spend during this time of year? Does it help us find that meaning if we fret and worry because we are unable for one reason or another to buy everything we want to for everyone we want to? It most certainly is more blessed to give than to receive, but ask yourself if you can really buy the true meaning of Christmas and wrap it up and give it to someone else. I’ve never been able to, but maybe that’s just me.
Another tradition many of us enjoy is driving around as a family and looking at all the Christmas lights on people’s houses. I remember doing that with my mom and dad when my two sisters and I were kids. I don’t remember very many of the lights, but I remember that we once saw a guy dressed up like Santa Claus… and he was wearing tennis shoes. We all thought that was just a hoot and a half. The things we remember from our childhood.
And speaking of that big jolly guy with… and I quote “His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry” It may sound like it, but no, I’m not talking about my father… (sorry dad). I’m talking about that OTHER jolly guy. Maybe Santa Claus will bring us the true meaning of Christmas. You know, a lot has been said about Santa Claus, and he is known throughout the world by different names… Father Christmas… Kris Kringle… St. Nicholas… In Brazil he’s known as Papai Noel… in Italy they call him Babbo Natale… In the Dutch language he’s Sinter Klaas… In the Netherlands the children wait for Kerstman… In France he’s called Pere’ Noelle… and even in Hawaii he’s known by the different name of Kanakaloka. No matter what we call him, we all know that he lives at the North Pole, travels in a sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer, and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas to so many children of the world without him.
There are those however, who in seeking the true meaning of Christmas, will say awful nasty things about the reality or validity of Santa. I would refer them to the editorial page of the New York Sun, from a long time ago. Children and adults alike pay attention and listen to this excerpt from that page.
Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897 (111 years ago)
I am 8 years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, and no romance to make tolerable this existence.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to have men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
No Santa Claus! Well thank goodness he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Well… that certainly answers that question once and for all doesn't it? But does that explain what the true meaning of Christmas is? Let’s continue, shall we?
What if it’s found in the memories we make and then recall each Christmas? I remember many happy Christmases from my childhood. The best were when there was lots of extended family with us… not that this in itself didn’t bring its own set of challenges.
I remember that almost without fail, on Christmas morning there was always that one toy that was the envy of all the other brothers and sisters and cousins. There was one toy that made us ignore for the time being all the other toys, and if that toy wasn’t mine, I was most unhappy. Didn’t stop me from playing with that toy though, and if it was mine, well I sure knew how to be stingy. Our parents saw an opportunity for a lesson in life and would try to teach us all about sharing and being happy with what we got. Sure ! ! ! Right lesson, way wrong time to try to enforce it though.
One year my cousin Kevin got a table-top hockey game, similar to the foosball games but it was hockey. Hours upon hours we spent working those hockey players up and down the ice trying to score on each other. The girls of course didn’t get it, but that was ok with Kevin and me. This was serious Stanley Cup playoffs time.
Another time he got a Rock ‘em Sock ‘em robot game and I got a tape recorder. We were in one of the back bedrooms at my grandparent’s house, trying to knock the block off of each other’s robot while I was recording the events from ringside under the stage name of “Friendly Ed” with commercials between each round of boxing complete with jingles like “MMMMM good, MMMMM good, that’s what Campbell’s soups are, MMMMM good” and “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the big bright Texaco star.” To this day I don’t know which was more fun… trying to knock each other’s block off and recording the events for unseen listeners, or listening to the recording afterward. Either way, it was hilarious to us. Yes, I actually did sing those jingles and I will deny to my deathbed that it was me if any of you ever get your hands on a copy of that tape.
One year I got a tent. It was a little blue tent that my father set up out in our front yard in Austin, Texas. Before I could even get into the thing to test my skills as a true outdoorsman, my sister Linda and my cousin Kevin turned the side of it into some sort of vertical trampoline. I was mature though and in a forgiving mood because the two of them were having so much fun and decided then and there to remember the real meaning of Christmas by throwing what they call these days… a real conniption fit. OK, so that one’s not the happiest of Christmas memories, but when I recall all those Christmas memories, I really do even think about that one and have to smile.
Other, more recent, memories came to me while I was searching for the true meaning of Christmas. I remember a few years ago when my wife and I had a paper route, we handed out Christmas cards to every one of our customers. We got many back in the mail… maybe upwards of a hundred and added them to our Christmas card wall. There must have been 150 cards up there and I remember looking at that wall and thinking to myself something like “Look how many people care enough for us to send these cards. We must really be great people”. But while I was mentally patting myself on the back for being so wonderful, did I miss the true meaning of Christmas up there on that wall?
And speaking of cards, what about all those cards and letters we send through the mail? Do we really expect someday to open one of those cards or letters and find right there in written form the true meaning of Christmas? I don’t know if we will or not, but we send them anyway… and send them… and send them… listen to this excerpt from a news release by the US Postal Service two days before Thanksgiving a couple of years ago.
Dated Nov. 20, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC — In two short days, the U.S. Postal Service begins to deliver 20 billion pieces of mail across the country and around the world, a task that requires more than 200,000 trucks, a 30 percent increase in air cargo transport, 37,000 Post Offices and 700,000 employees.
All to make sure that holiday cheer arrives on time.
The Postal Service expects to deliver 20 billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Total mail volume (cards, letters, catalogs, packages, magazines) for the busiest day should approach 1 billion.
WOW ! ! !
With that kind of volume, maybe that’s where we should look in our search for the true meaning of Christmas.
Or maybe we should look to the event itself… the birth of the baby Jesus. We spend the rest of the year thinking about the life of Christ, but it seems to me that the birth itself is a part of that life. Why do we reserve thinking about that event for those few days between Thanksgiving and December 25th?
Was Bruce R McConkie talking about the true meaning of Christmas when he explained to us that Jesus Christ is the only person ever to be born in the world who had power to bring to pass the resurrection of himself or anyone else and to atone for the sins of any living being? The atonement came by the power of God and not of man, and to really understand it, one must understand that our Lord was literally the Son of God (an immortal personage) and of Mary (a mortal woman). From his mother he inherited mortality, the power to lay down his life, to die, to permit the body and spirit to separate. From his Father he inherited the power of immortality, the power to keep the body and spirit together, or if he chooses, allow them to separate, the power to unite them again in the resurrected state. This is something that He has given to each and every one of us.
What a wonderful gift, and there was no one else who could give it to us. The power over physical death, the power over spiritual death. Isn’t that gift (and how the giver of that gift was born) worthy of our thoughts all year long and not just at Christmas? The true meaning of Christmas might be in the miracle of the birth of our savior.
The true meaning of Christmas. What is it? Where do we find it? Where do we look? Who do we ask? Can we touch it? Can we taste it or smell it? Can we feel it with our fingertips, or must we open up our souls to let the feeling in there? Can we buy the true meaning of Christmas? Can we sell it? Give it away? Can we sing it out loud or can we only hear it in our hearts when block out everything else that is going on around us? Do our families bring it to us? Does Santa? If we try hard enough, can we find the true meaning of Christmas in all the Christmas lights, shining and blinking and twinkling for all to see… or on the Christmas trees, beautifully decorated with lights and tinsel and ornaments, some of which have been handed from generation to generation to generation… or in the presents all wrapped with care with pretty ribbons and fancy bows… or beneath the wreaths hung on doors… Families being together… fighting for parking spaces at the malls and the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. Is the true meaning of Christmas explained to us in the Christmas plays and pageants and television specials… during parades or at parties… Can we spread it with Christmas carols and Christmas caroling… Do we ever write it out in the millions and millions of cards and letters sent to family, friends, and loved ones… Is it possible to discover it by spending a quiet Christmas eve with our loved ones reading from the second chapter of Luke.
I have been asked in the past to give talks on the true meaning of Christmas, and in preparation, I went on this quest to find it. I thank you all for letting me take you to some of the places I searched, and we’ve had some fun and a few laughs along the way… but what I found in my search for the true meaning of Christmas may surprise you. What I found could possibly shock you. My discovery may even disappoint you after having read this far.
What did I find in my search for the true meaning of Christmas?
I do not know.
The truth of the matter is simply that I do not have a clue what the one true meaning of Christmas is.
Because what I found out is that for each person, the true meaning of Christmas can be very different. And for each one of us, the true meaning of Christmas can change vastly depending on what we’re doing at the moment, who we’re with, what song we’re singing, what special we’re watching on television, or what gift we are wrapping. The true meaning of Christmas might be one thing while we’re hanging lights on the house or decorating the tree… and something different while we’re shopping… and something different while we’re sitting around on Christmas morning opening presents… and still something completely different when we’re listening to the words of my own personal favorite Christmas song…
O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine! Oh night when Christ was born!
For me, part of the true meaning of Christmas is somewhere in those lyrics and the music that goes with them. The lights, the Christmas trees, the Christmas hymns, being with family, being with friends, the smiles on our faces… all add to the true meaning of Christmas for me.
For me, it’s easy to find the true meaning of Christmas in the following poem that I remember Grandpa Jones reciting back when I was a kid…
The Christmas Guest
It happened one day near December's end,
Two neighbors called on an old time friend.
And they found his shop so meager and mean
Made gay with a thousand bows of green.
And Conrad was sitting with face ashine,
When he suddenly stopped as he stitched a twine,
and he said, "old friends, at dawn today
when the rooster was crowing the night away
The lord appeared in a dream to me,
And said, "I am coming your guest to be."
"So I've been busy with feet astir,
Strewing my shop with branches of fir.
The table is spread and the kittle is shined,
And over the rafters the holly is twined.
And now I'll wait for my Lord to appear
And listen closely so I will hear
his step as he nears my humble place
And I open the door and look on his face.
So his friends went home and left Conrad alone
For this is the happiest day he had known,
For long since, his family had passed away
and Conrad had spend many a sad Christmas day.
But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas guest,
This Christmas would be the dearest and best
So he listened with only joy in his heart,
And with every sound he would rise with a start
and look for the Lord to be at his door,
Like the vision he had a few hours before.
So he ran to the window after hearing a sound,
But all he could see on the snow covered ground
was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn
and all his clothes were ragged and worn.
But Conrad was touched as he went to the door
And he said, "Your feet must be frozen and sore.
I have some shoes in my shop for you,
and a coat that will keep you warmer too."
So with grateful heart the man went away,
But Conrad noticed the time of day
And he wondered what made the Lord so late,
and how much longer he'd have to wait?
When he heard a knock; he ran to the door
But it was only a stranger once more.
A bent old lady with a shawl of black,
With a bundle of kindling piled on her back.
She asked for only a place to rest,
but that was reserved for Conrad's great guest,
But her voice seemed to plead, "Don't send me away.
Let me rest for a while on Christmas day.
So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup,
And told her to sit at the table and sup.
But after she left he was filled with dismay
For he saw that the hours were slipping away,
And the Lord hadn't come as he said he would
And Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood.
When out of the stillness he heard a cry,
"Please help me and tell me where am I?"
So again he opened his friendly door,
And stood disappointed as twice before.
It was only a child who had wandered away
And was lost from her family on Christmas day.
Again Conrad's heart was heavy and sad,
but he knew he should make the little girl glad
So he called her in and wiped her tears
And quieted all her childish fears
Then he led her back to her home once more,
But as he entered his own darkened door,
he new that the lord was not coming today,
For the hours of Christmas had passed away.
So he went to his room and knelt down to pray,
And he said, "Dear Lord, why did you delay?
What kept you from coming to call on me?
For I wanted so much your face to see.
When soft in the silence a voice he heard,
"Lift up your head for I kept my word.
Three times my shadow crossed your floor.
Three times I came to your lowly door.
For I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet.
I was the woman you gave something to eat.
And I was the child on the homeless street.
Three times I knocked, Three times I came in,
And each time I found the warmth of a friend.
Of all the gifts, love is the best.
I was honored to be your Christmas guest."
“Of all the gifts, love is the best”
There it is… There is the true meaning of Christmas… for me anyway. That doesn’t mean that it has to be the same for you… or for ANYONE else.
Like our own personal testimonies of the divine nature of Jesus Christ, it’s different for everyone. And like our own personal testimonies, it changes as we grow and experience more things in this life. Like our own personal testimonies, the true meaning of Christmas lies within our own hearts… it has a special and personal meaning to us. And like our testimonies, sometimes we can struggle with finding it, and then struggle even more when attempting to explain it to someone else. So, that having been said, I don’t know how to explain what the true meaning of Christmas is. I know what it is to me, but… and I quote:
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them--words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to where your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.
The true meaning of Christmas, along with our own personal testimonies is one of the most important things that we can search for and find. What you do with yours when you do find them, is up to you. For me, I feel that I fall extremely short when I try to explain, so I’ll have to rely on help from some little friends…
Remember when Charlie Brown shouted “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Personally, I think the best explanation I’ve ever heard was the one Linus gave to Charlie Brown when he said:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Straight from Luke, chapter 2: verses 8-14.
For me, the true meaning of Christmas doesn’t get any better than that.
My hope during this wonderful season, my Christmas prayer, is that each one of you who have taken the time to read this message, and all of your families and friends, and all of their families and friends…find your own true meaning of Christmas… and when you find it, don’t let go of it. Hang it on your wall at home… Carry it with you… put it in your wallet or purse or pocket or hide it in your scriptures and then take it out to peek at it once in a while and not just at Christmas either. Sing your favorite Christmas carol out loud in the middle of your own home town during the month of June and see what happens. Share your true meaning of Christmas with everyone and ask them to do the same. Love one another, love yourself, know that I love you, be happy all year long, but especially during this wonderful season of love and happiness, and a very safe and wonderful and Merry Christmas to you all… is my hope and my prayer.
Until next time…