Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting in the Spirit of Christmas

Morgan spoke in church today in front of the entire congregation (about 500 people). She did a fantastic job and I loved her topic and the talk itself. I'd like to share with you.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love hanging out with my family, decorating the Christmas tree, wrapping presents, and taking a break from school to do fun things, like going skiing or sledding, seeing a movie, and sleeping in. It’s also the only time of year that my mom buys stuff like salami and pecan pie and lets us eat it.

But the true meaning of Christmas is often times lost among buying and wrapping and running around. So how can we feel the true spirit of Christmas?

To me, Christmas is about three things:

1.     It is a celebration of Christ’s birth.

I am reminded of the real meaning of Christmas by going to Temple Square and seeing the lights and the nativity scenes. When we went to Temple Square a few weeks ago, it was beautiful and I felt the spirit of Christmas everywhere I looked. There was Christmas music playing and it felt very spiritual.

I am also reminded of Christ’s birth by listening to Christmas songs. My favorites include Oh Holy Night and Away in a Manger.  I sing in my school’s chorus and I love singing many of those songs.

I also love many of the Christmas movies, like A Christmas Carol. Last year, we saw A Christmas Carol at the Hale Theatre. My family also takes us to see The Nutcracker ballet every year, and a few weeks ago, we saw Handel’s Messiah at the symphony.

All of these activities takes us out of the shopping malls and into a more spiritual place where I celebrate Christ’s birth.

2.     The second way we can get into the spirit of Christmas is by spending quality time with our families.

With our break from school, it is a great time to spend it with the people we are closest to. In addition to my family, our friends are coming from California so we can all do things together. It is a time to just take a break from the usual things that we do and just enjoy being together. I love Christmas Eve the most. We usually get together at one house and the whole family comes over and we eat together and play games and open one present. It is exciting because the next day is Christmas. I just feel a lot of love, joy and happiness on Christmas Eve. That, to me, is the real meaning of Christmas. But not everyone has people they love to spend Christmas with. And many people don’t have much to celebrate. Which brings me to my third way we can feel the true spirit of Christmas.

3.     Thinking of others. This is the time we can do things for those who don’t have enough. We can do this by finding a family or child in need and anonymously buying gifts for them. Or we can donate food to a food bank. Or we can go to a retirement home or hospital and visit with those who are lonely. It is also a great time of year to help those who have a family member serving in the military by taking over meals or Secret Santa gifts, or maybe watching children so a parent can have a needed break. Missionaries might also be feeling lonely so inviting them over to spend part of Christmas is also something we can do. All of these ideas are ways we can honor Christ’s birth by being Christ-like and charitable to others.

I hope that we can all feel the true spirit of Christmas and that we can remember why we celebrate Christmas—and that is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.