I know it is a little late to be saying this, but I still feel like it is the Christmas season. I know the stores already have Valentines stuff out for sale, and New Years eve is tomorrow, but it still feels like Christmas. In years past, I have not looked forward to Christmas very much. I was always unhappy at that time of year, due to unspoken but felt demands and pressures etc. I also didn't like what society was and is doing to Christmas, making it into a season only to sustain the health of the economy, and at the same time refusing to allow us to celebrate the birth of Christ. I don't know what it was exactly this year, but I think I have had a change of heart. I am going to celebrate Christmas for what it is, and not for what someone else tells me it is. I can't really explain it, but for this: This is a time to celebrate Christ's birth. He was sent here for me and you and it was a great gift from my Heavenly Father. I will give gifts to others to show them my love and not because Walmart needs me to help them pay their employees. I will give to the bell ringers, because I know others in my neighborhood may have needs that would otherwise remain unmet, and because that is the way I can show Jesus and my Heavenly Father that I love them. I will continue to hand out dollar bills to the needy or the homeless, even if they are scamming me, because I would hate to pass one by, one that might go hungry because I couldn't be bothered to help, because I judged him or her to be unfit to receive my charity or help. I would hate to be ignored in my time of need, because someone thought I was undeserving. Christmas time is more than a date on a calender. It is more than a day when a stranger named Santa Clause brings gifts and leaves them under the tree. Christmas is the ultimate celebration of the life of Christ. It is an attitude as well as a date. I realized this truth this year and have decided to try and celebrate instead of dread. In making this decision, I have also decided to try and keep Christmas in my heart all year long. Will I be whistling Christmas songs in June? Hopefully.
On a slightly different but also similar note, I want to say, that Santa is real. Santa is a person that knows us and loves us and gives us presents to show love and spread happiness. I am here to say that I always have had presents from Santa. Now Santa may not come down the chimney, or wear red clothes and be over sized...... but I always have someone who has given something to me or my family that was a show of love and kindness, and something to spread happiness. My family this year has had more than one Santa. A new young couple in our ward, moved here in August I think, donated gift cards and helped my wife and I purchase things for our children. Other people in our ward donated food and money to help those who might have needs for Christmas and the donations were so great, that many people were richly blessed. I happen to know that my family was not one of those listed that may need help. The mere fact that we received 2 full boxes of food and an envelope full of money for Christmas just overwhelms me to the point that I know the other families would have been taken care of FIRST and there was this much left over. Santa, and Christ through these other people have truly blessed me and my family.
Today I am feeling truly blessed. I still am struggling with trying to find a good permanent job, that will allow me to pay the bills and save some money, but I have so much to be thankful for. With that said, I just want to wish you all again a Merry Christmas, and hope your lives are as full of blessings as mine is. If you find yourself lacking, I would advise you to do something nice for someone else and you will receive blessings or be shown a different view of your life and you will find the blessings you have missed.
May our loving Heavenly Father bless you this next year and always. May we always have Christmas in our lives, and a song in our hearts.