Friday, December 12, 2008

Rembering Christ at Christmas

I've heard a lot of people lately being upset about how commercialized Christmas is. They say that Santa has replaced Jesus as the center of the holiday, and that we shouldn't say "Happy Holidays," and what not. I've been thinking about that this month, and I've been reading a great book called "Rembering Christ at Christmas." I've decided that even though most of the world doesn't focus on the Savior and his birth and mission on Christmas, that doesn't mean Christ is not present during the holidays. I think what matters is where you focus your thoughts. I'm trying to keep our focus on Christ in little ways, like remembering to do our scripture reading and say our prayers every night, and putting our nativity scene in the middle of the living room, and keeping pictures of Christ up in our home. I've found that Christmas, to quote the Grinch, "means a little bit more" when we remember what it really is about.

Now, that said, I LOVE everything about the secular holiday celebration! Rudolph, Frosty, Santa, White Christmases, decorating, tasty treats, give me them all! But I've realized these past few days that we don't have to polarize the two ways of celebrating. I think you can find Christ in any Christmas tradition, secular or not. It just depends on where you are focusing. These ideas are my favorites from Remembering Christ at Christmas. Can you think of any more?

The Greek word for Christ starts with an X, and to save expensive writing space in the Middle Ages, scribes shortened Christ to "X." The Emperor Constantine used the letter X as his symbol on his flag.

Santa wears red and white, which Christ will wear at the second coming, symbolizing the atonement and purity (D&C 133:48-51). Santa "comes like a thief in the night," and "enters not by the door" (D&C 106:4). Santa invites little children to come to him (Matthew 19:14). He knows if you've been bad or good, and he rewards each person according to their works. Santa gives children unearned gifts that they cannot get without him. Christ offers the unearned gifts of immortality and Eternal life. We are not always grateful for the gifts we receive.

Jesus was also "despised by his peers," (Isaiah 53:3) but when "mists of darkness" arise, he is the "light which shineth in darkness." (D&C 6:21)

Decorated Homes
We show that we honor Christ. Outside decorations show our light to the world, and inside decorations show that the love of Christ and his atonement is within.

Christmas Morning
Symbolizes the beginning of the millenium, where we will arise and recieve the gift of Eternal life.

One more thing that struck me in this book was the choice we have between having a "Martha" Christmas or a "Mary" Christmas. We can be "cumbered about much serving," or we can sit peacefully at the feet of Christ. I am so amazed at all that Christ has done for us, and I hope to understand it all better as I focus more on his life. I love this time of year!

Have a "Mary" Christmas!


Kevin Hinckley M.Ed said...

What a great post! Thanks so much for all your thought. They meant a lot to me.
Love, Cindy

Cindy said...

Not sure why most post came across as Kevin, but it really was me!

Leah and Ryan said...

Wow. That was deep. :) HO HO HO!!! GO CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS! hehe.... As long as we remember the savior all year, we dont need to remember him just during Christmas. It will already be a part of our daily routine!

Tina said...

I loved this post! Thanks for sharing all that you learned. I shared it with my kids as well. Have a Merry Christmas! ~ The Mann's