What Christmas Really Means

Right after Thanksgiving (or earlier,) we start to be actively bombarded with the capitalist message that we’ve got to start buying or we’ll be left behind somehow. The same-old wash, rinse, repeat holiday symbols get dragged through the incessant media just for the almighty dollar. How do we defend ourselves from this annual capitalist trap? Just like it is with everything good and right, Satan tries to dirty and ruin things that are special.

We are also urged to keep Christ in Christmas on a constant basis. We try each year, but do we really succeed? 

Have we been touched in our hearts to become more Christlike? 

I am not saying scrap the whole Santa notion. That rotund jolly old generous fellow has treated me well in the past. He remains to be a beloved symbol of the giving and charity that we embrace especially at this time of year. It’s just fine to celebrate a white-bearded Santa and flying reindeer and evergreens covered with sparkly lights as long as we retain the intended spirit of the season. Have we been touched so deeply that we are kind and charitable all the time? (I have a strong testimony of the charity possessed by so many. I’ve seen it firsthand! It’s awe inspiring.) It’s okay to enjoy these yearly traditions, as long we keep our hearts turned towards Christ, and the celebration of His time on earth, and what we have received from Him. 

Do we sit through those heart touching services going over our Christmas lists like sugar plums dancing in our heads or meticulously planning the holiday menu, or do we actually give our whole attention to the beauty of the words and music and really think of Him and our true devotion as Christians. I love the depictions of Santa Claus showing love and reverence for the Christchild. They show what Christmas should be. We, including St. Nick, get much joy to give to our loved ones like Christ did (and does.)

We aren’t trying to trick anyone. (One of my daughters felt very betrayed when she discovered the Christmas secret.) Many seasoned parents can tell you that we strive with all our might (and checkbooks) to keep the magic, wonder, and awe alive. Like they said in Prancer the movie, “Christmas is the heart of childhood.” We all revisit our childhood during the holidays through food, shows, and song. That is the appeal of Christmas, even though we think it’s about the giving and getting. No matter your belief level, we all enjoy Christmas and all the cherished family traditions and celebrations that remind us of years gone by.

Family is what it’s all about. 

It is one of Christ’s main teachings. It is very important to Him. So why is it so difficult to be nice to our own family? Try harder during this holiday.

A popular saying in our home is, “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive!” So leave the doubting and humbugging behind. Endeavor to experience genuine joy this year, not stress. If you feel stressed let some less important things go.

There are multiple opinions and practices in regards to Christmas, from gift amount limiting -to- concentrating only on the nativity -to- full on Christmas “Whobalations” with all of the holiday excess and the “roast beast,” whatever that is to you! (“Maybe Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more!”) 

No matter how you choose to celebrate Christ’s birth, do it with an annual renewed sense of giving and kindness that you will retain all year long. “God bless us everyone.” “Where’s the Tylenol?”


Angels

I have been pondering the subject of angels much since we welcomed a new angel into our midst, and we have lost an earthly angel. (Now she is literally an angel!) Well yeah, also it’s Christmastime, and angels are a popular symbol of Christmas due to the visit the shepherds received from Heavenly angels over 2000 years ago when they announced the historic star and joyous birth.

I grew up with a family attitude towards angels with wings. Most of them didn’t like the depictions of angels with wings. We always poo-pooed the winged angels, they weren’t accepted. Now, I’m not saying they didn’t believe in them, just the winged versions weren’t correct. They figured it was not an accurate representation of Heavenly messengers.

As I matured and developed my own belief system, my attitude on this subject has softened. (To each their own, right?)

Angels according to Kim: The reason why angels are depicted with wings is that they are spirits that have been ‘transfigured.’ (That word perfectly describes it. “To transform into something more beautiful or elevated.”) The wings are just what some have envisioned when they behold a glowing aura surround a spirit. (I don’t actually believe that souls hit heaven and sprout wings!) I think somewhere in history someone saw an angel, and the best way they could describe the awesome light they witnessed encircling them was very luminous looking wings. And then, as time went on caricatures of angels always posessed wings.

I don’t mind the wings, they are a symbol of the calming peace of a dove. They give us comfort and assurance. (They’re an extension of the Holy Ghost.) Angels also administer to people in need and share God’s love for each of us. And like the Christmas event, they proclaim glad tiding of great joy or give warnings.

My favorite verse in the Book of Mormon is in Alma, chapter 29. (There are many great passages, but this one is a gem.)

“O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.”

Wow! Don’t we all desire world peace? But what are we doing about it?

I have experienced angels throughout my ordeal. I can’t say I have seen visions of heavenly beings, but I sure sensed them. There are also definitely angels amoung us! God works a majority of His miracles through other humans on this earth. The Holy Ghost makes God’s will known to us. 

Have you ever been inspired? 

Had a ingenious charitable thought that will be so wonderful just pop into your head? (Personally, I am not that clever. I just listen to my ‘Jiminey Cricket’ as well as I can.) 

I absolutely adore the song “Angels Amoung Us” by Alabama. (I can’t keep eyes dry whenever I listen.)

I have witnessed, on a personal level, many large and small selflessly angelic acts. Just recently, I have been efforting to get Christmas gifts for my family and friends. (Thanks Amazon!) I was praying for a miracle to help me complete my list. Not too many days after, a friend (you know who you are) brought me a belated birthday card. I thought, “That was nice,” and after she left, I opened the card. It had the money in it that I needed! I cried. The Lord knows me, loves me, and is mindful of my needs! No one but my Heavenly Father knew what I needed. He made that miracle happen through an in-tune mortal angel. I am positive she was prompted by the Holy Ghost!) I must also note, so many earth angel construction professionals have contributed to my home remodel either through  acquiring free or discounted supplies, giving complimentary services, working on their day off, or discounting their work for us. This is their livelihoods, but they have bent over backwards to bring this dream alive. I’ve said it before, but I seriously have a lot to pay forward. I’ve got to work at it for the rest of my life!

I truly believe my Heavenly Father will heal me so I can give and serve as other angels have served me! (It’s gonna be my full-time job!)

Sweet Smells Of Spring

via Daily Prompt: Perfume

I am writing in response to the daily prompt by WordPress. They do it to get people writing. When I think of perfume, I am sent up to the mountains. The sweet perfume of the wildflowers across the meadows hearkens wonderful memories of days gone by.  Nature unfolds it’s own variety of luscious scents. Especially in the spring, as the new random flowers emerge, we can enjoy the blooms as we can take in mother nature’s bounty. We can be as fresh and beautiful as these flowers. Turn your life in a new direction, and shake off the old ways and unwanted attitudes. Embrace a life of goodness and beauty. (You can do it!) The sweet life is waiting for you as much as you are waiting for it. Reach out for what gives you true joy, pluck it up and take in the sweet scents. (You deserve it!)