Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Thoughts

It is always a struggle to put aside the fun, colorful, and thin decorations that wrap themselves around the reasons we celebrate Christmas. This year was no different but two back-to-back videos helped me.

The first was from the Church’s Christmas web site and it was a series of interviews of people who as adults discovered the gospel, repented and joined the church. They all expressed the incredible lows and depression felt by living worldly rules. They described their inability to find happiness or peace from a treadmill of a modeling career, or empty business transactions, or endless intoxication. Then when they prayed for help and received the Savior’s warm forgiving embrace they felt the true power of the gift of his life. He gave us the way to return to that safe harbor which is our heavenly home. I realized that is the reason we celebrate his birth.

The other video showed a professional choir disbursed among a large group of holiday shoppers at a busy mall’s food court. They were wearing everyday clothes and couldn’t be recognized. Suddenly the mall music system stopped playing the jangle of some dopey reindeer song and a powerful organ started into Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. A young lady stood up and in a beautiful voice started singing this inspiring piece of music. She was joined by others in the choir giving song to the ancient scripture of Isaiah’s adoration of the advent of the Savior’s life, majesty, and gift. Within a very short time the entire choir was standing and singing praises to God. What struck me was the setting. Here was a crowded shopping mall, the height of commercialism, taking pause as “ordinary” people raised their voices to honor the birth of the Savior and the promise of his perfect life. There is a vital place for the spiritual side of Christmas to shine and be remembered.

For Christmas weekend there was nearly 8 feet of snowfall in the mountains, but none here. It is so weird to have 50 degree weather in Denver this late in the year. We had Danica and Dave over for Christmas Eve and enjoyed one of the greatest meals ever prepared, with turkey, prime rib, fresh Chinese egg rolls, pear salad, and twice baked potatoes. It was a wonderful busy holiday kitchen and dining experience. We gave each other a moving dance party game and a soda pop maker. We must be at a very comfortable place in life to give such gifts.

At Danica’s on Christmas morning, it was a typical little kid gift opening frenzy. I received a special gift as my daughter’s had teamed up to digitize old family movies and I could watch 3 year old Austin praddle around the kitchen, stealing finger gouges of butter for a long time. Those old movies reflect a very blessed and happy group of lucky kids growing up with a big yard and big bedrooms, with a rabbit pen, a deer blind, a picnic table, woods to explore, and grass to run on with no TV. What a sweet treasure to watch those movies again and see our younger selves.

1 comment:

Celeste said...

Wish we could have been there with you. Where can I see those videos?