Pin It I sat on the front porch in the cold night air, as the lights of Tremonton twinkled below me in the valley, like the stars veiled above a layer of cloud. The heavens were silent this evening, no hints of vanilla showers as the lights of the city reflected off of their gray surface.
As I waited in the soft hush, I thought a lot about Christmases of the past. You see, when I was a little boy, Christmas was about presents. It was about having a tree draped with twinkling lights. It was found in the songs jamming the airwaves. It was all about snow, sleigh bells, and reindeer on the rooftop. These were the things that constituted Christmas to me. It was a night besieged with wonder and the thrill of what was yet to come.
As the years have trudged onward, I’ve got older; Christmas has since lost a little bit of the magic it once held for me. Not because Christmas itself has changed – but rather because I have. Something happened in the space of years – something that seems to happen to each of us at one time or another in our lives. It’s a shift from what Christmas used to be, into what it becomes when we find ourselves losing the excitement of the morning sojourns to the tree flocked with presents around its underside.
For some, Christmas becomes a lonely time, besought with empty dreams and seclusion from the rest of the world. It can be an unpleasant reminder of loved ones now gone, and a terrible remembrance that life does indeed go on without them. For those who feel this, I would like to quote Chris Heimerdinger, author of A Return to Christmas who said, “[Christmas is] forever constant, representing hope in the face of despair. Life in the face of death. And light in the face of impenetrable darkness. Every Christmas morning [should] begin with a glorious sunrise. And every Christmas day should be accompanied by a song on the wind [speaking] of things more beautiful than the eye can see and more wonderful than the ear can hear. We may grieve, but Christmas will still come every year. Christmas is still first and foremost a day of healing. A day of embracing everything good and wholesome in this world.”
For others, the focus of Christmas becomes something more than self, more than presents, more than music and snow. Christmas comes to illustrate its true meaning, intertwining with the birth of the Savior in a lowly manger 2,000 years ago. One who would one day sacrifice all that He had in anticipation of reuniting each of us with the Father of Heaven and Earth.
This, my friends, is the true meaning of Christmas.
The Christmas Story - as told by the children of St. Paul's Church. Thanks Vanessa, for originally leading me to this clip...
And let me be the first to wish you all a very Merry Christmas...