by Cindy R. Williams
Terri's post a few days ago got me thinking. We celebrate the birth of Christ every year. December 25th always comes whether we have plenty of money to try to shower our loved ones with gifts or very little money so we do the best we can and make do with gifts we create.
I have had both. My children --all five -- often mention the most memorable was the one we took most of the money we allotted for Christmas that year and played Secret Santa for some families we knew had struggles. Filling boxes with groceries and presents, then sneaking them onto porches, ringing the doorbells and then running and hiding was a blast. It was like we were world class secret agents. We were partners in fun adventure. My kids loved it.
We also chose to give each other only gifts we had made. I remember worrying about how Christmas morning would be when our children didn't have the gifts they had fantasized about.
But, do you know what? My worries were for nothing. I was humbled by what happened that Christmas morning. Each child was excited to see the reactions to their gifts they had created. They also absolutely loved what was made for them. I pondered this and realized each of us was emotionally and physically invested in the fits we had worked so hard on. It is one thing to give some thought to what you will buy someone, but a whole other thing to take the time to create something. It really does become a labor of love.
My high school son's gifts for his dad and me were stunning. He borrowed a friends snuggy and created his own pattern adding his own improvements like making them longer and with deeper pockets. He also added more material around the top so you could really snuggle in if you wanted. I love it. I wear it often, especially when I'm writing. While he was on his mission, it not only warmed me, but brought me much comfort. I felt him near me. It really was the best Christmas ever.
This year is a . . . well . . . not so lucrative venture. And that is just fine. I finally wrote the Christmas story about a little girl learning the true meaning of Christmas that I 've wanted to write for years. It has become part of my Christmas gifts to some. We are making gifts to share with extended families, visiting teachers, home teachers, neighbors and friends. You really can do a ton of baking using your food storage and some imagination. Christmas cards are being sent on-line.
We are more focused on each other and our Lord rather than the trappings. We will sing praises to the Christ child in our Ward Choir on Christmas Day. I know I will have tears as we sing Mary's Lullaby. I have not been able to get through the phrase, "You are a King, but tonight you are mine," without crying. My youngest son will sing a lovely song with the Primary children too. I have the opportunity to share my heart by playing my harp for the prelude music. It will be part of my gift to Jesus this Christmas. Then we will come home and continue to celebrate the birth of Christ together around the Christmas Tree that was decorated with much laughter, and . . . tossing of ornaments. (I was lucky this year, only one broke.)
I am grateful for Christmas this and every year. Hearts are softened. Families are together.
I wish each of you the Merriest Christmas and may you feel the Saviors love in your heart.