Most of y'all already know I am an absolute Christmas junkie: I have been listening to Christmas music since just after Halloween and have been known to listen to it in July or so if I'm having a bad day.
My love for this season is added to by Crystal and I celebrating our anniversary the 23rd. When I hear the music not only do I remember Christmases past, but also when we first got married. We have now been married for 3 years, and every year is better than the next. I love you, Crystal.
Earlier this month I swapped some favorite Christmas memory stories/traditions with some friends. We laughed with each other and noticed that we all had similar themes. All of our stories and memories were about good times with our families. Years after the fact we do not remember the gifts we received or even the gifts we gave, but rather the love and happiness that can exist in a home as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ together.
We get the special feelings this time of year as more people open their hearts to Christ's healing power. Christ always reaches out to us as he asks us to "be converted, that I may heal you...if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you and whosever will come, him will I receive" (3 Nephi 9:13-14). During this season more people allow Christ's love to influence them.
Without Jesus Christ, each of us is lost in this life "for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Only through the selfless sacrifice of Jesus Christ, called the atonement, can we be forgiven of our sins and look forward with hope to eternal life with God and our families. It is because Jesus Christ came to the world and loved each of us enough to die for us that we sing 'Joy to the World', the angels proclaim 'Glory to the Newborn King', and the wise-men watched the new star appear 'With Wondering Awe'.
Paul described his new life in Christ thus:
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
I hope each of you are able to take a moment to pause from the commercial side this season and reflect on the life of Jesus Christ and how it blesses all of us. We love you all. Merry Christmas!