“Everybody” talks about remembering the reason for the season. A little easier said than done, it sometimes seems. Here’s what I did, besides expressing gratitude in my daily prayers for Christ, for his love and sacrifice, for the Atonement, and the Resurrection and trying (with more or less success) to always remember Him.
For me a special part of Christmas is Christmas Eve when we set aside all the things of the world and the hustle and bustle of getting presents, etc ready to truly remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior. A time of reverent, joyous reflection.
At least, that is my vision of it.
As my family has grown up and expanded, I have lost some control of this whole thing (if I ever really had any) and we have had some Christmas Eve suppers that weren’t quite what I hoped for. We had our traditional fruit, cheese and homemade bread – vaguely reminiscent of what Mary and Joseph might have had (but modern Americanized). We even read the Christmas Story – but I had a feeling that it was in the spirit of “let’s get this over with for Mom”. Then it was on to games, movies, and general fun family rowdiness. Nothing bad, but not reverent, quiet and reflective. And also, we often stayed up too late as my family tends to when we get together which really doesn’t work well for me.
This year, my daughter-in-law Teresa who shares my vision, and I decided to ‘get back’ Christmas Eve. We invited everyone to our house. We figured that if people wanted to play afterwards, they could go to Ruth & Tom’s when they took the children home to bed. We planned a little program – the usual stuff - reading Luke 2 and singing songs. We planned a couple of Nativity oriented crafts for the kids. It was a little bit like herding cats, but not too much and I think it went pretty well.
Christmas Day was full of fun and family (and a bit of last last minute gift finishing and wrapping. We remember that Christmas is to celebrate Christ’s birth, but more on this day, we celebrate being a family and the good things in life that Christ has made possible for us.
Sunday after church, Benjamin and I drove to the Oakland Temple Visitor’s Center to see the Reflections of Christ exhibit which was just finishing its two month run. Beautiful. I could try to describe it, but would not do it justice. You might enjoy the website more. And or this Reflections of Christ slide show