I wanted to reflect a little about Christmas tonight. I always thought that Christmas could not get any better than how it was when I was a child. The anticipation all month long- the cookies, and fruit, and decorations. Putting ornaments on a tree and wrapping the one gift I bought for our family exchange. Our annual Christmas Eve nativity play (which eventually dwindled down to me singing and Brandon playing the Drummer Boy). Fancy dinners while listening to Christmas carols. Trying to fall asleep Christmas Eve while the excitement bubbled up in my stomach, causing to me giggle ever few minutes. And finally the sheer happiness as I tore through wrapping paper to the gifts inside. These are all great memories. But I had no clue.
I couldn't have known then how much better Christmas is as a parent. I never understood how true it is that it is better to give than to receive. I am SO EXCITED for Christmas- but not for my own gifts. My excitement is for the looks on the girls' faces when they open their presents- to see Kaylon's surprise as he looks into his boxes. It's for the chance to have a holiday feast ready for my my mother and brother when they arrive for a week stay. It reminds me of the scripture in Matthew 7:11, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" I have wanted to give my loved ones the world this Christmas. And we have been blessed with the means to give the girls a "good Christmas" as gifts under the tree goes. And if I feel so strongly about giving my girls some toys, how much more must my Father in Heaven love me, to have given His Only Begotten Son to the world to die for our sins; to live amongst us to show us how to live the commandments so that we could return to live with Him again? I am so grateful tonight for a Savior, who was born in the lowliest of circumstances, laid in a manger, and visited by mere shepherds. His status demanded so much more. But He did it- for me, and for you, so that we could be happy.
So while it's fun to be excited for the presents under the tree- let us remember why we give the gifts. It is a symbol of the gift that our Father in Heaven gave us 2000 years ago: a baby boy, pure and holy, that would grow up to become the Savior of the world.
Merry Christmas to you all.