The presents are wrapped, the candy is gone, we've celebrated China, the Christmas Story told, and the children are nestled snugly in their beds, although getting to sleep may be far off. I'm taking a moment to remind myself of why we celebrate tomorrow. Growing up I thought everyone believed in Jesus. It wasn't until much later I found that not only were people of different cultures and religions, they had different lifestyles-some totally opposite of mine. It would be so boring if we were all the same. I appreciate the differences in my neighbors, friends and family.
Although my faith has wavered over the years, my belief system has stayed. The following is taken from our church newsletter. I don't know who said it, I am guessing Pres. Thomas S. Monson, but it is an excellent message for tonight.
"As we contemplate the birth of Jesus Christ and reflect on His life, let us make the every day choices that will lead us back to Him. We can look for opportunities every day to lift those around us and strengthen ourselves in the process."
Reflecting on the commonly asked question "What did you get for Christmas?," we should be asking "What did we give for Christmas?"
"Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminated the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world's busy life and become more interested in people than things. To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only to drop the last syllable and it becomes the Spirit of Christ."