Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Our time this holiday season has been filled but not hectic, rich but not expensive, simple but not lacking.  We have spent time together but not at the expense of sleep or other needful things.  It has been the most Christmas-y I've felt in a long time.

The song "Silver Bells" has new meaning with the "busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style".  We've had fun enjoying window displays and lights lining the shops and vegetable stands.  The Christmas markets brought a spirit of giving as we thought about things to share with loved ones back home.

On the spiritual side of things, we've tried hard to talk a lot about the Savior, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas-time.  We've tried in our ways to follow the Light the World Advent Calendar.  As we've worked on this with our family, our children have responded with a greater interest in family history and a better eye for those in need.

Last night we shared a nice meal with new friends who were also alone and far from home.  We learned about their cultural traditions and shared a little nativity skit.  We felt the Spirit of the Lord as we sang the songs of the nativity.  I felt the love of the Savior as I embraced our new friend and she expressed her gratitude for the invitation. After the kids were in bed, Hyrum and I reflected on the blessings we've seen these past months and the way the Lord's hand has been in our lives.  For the first time in years, there was no tv or music last night to detract from the Christmas Spirit.

Hannah as the Angel, Charlotte, Rachel and Spencer as shepherds.

This morning, after a brief disturbance at 2:30 am, the kids dumped out their boxes and exclaimed over the treasures they found.  The church bells nearby rang at 8:00, as we were getting ready for church.  I thought about the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day".  The verse "Then rang the bells more loud and deep; God is not dead, nor does he sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail ; With peace on earth, good will to men" ran through my head.  I truly believe this. 

Our Christmas boxes, instead of stockings, this year.

Our tree with the best of presents underneath, heartfelt notes of love and gratitude.

We went to church and enjoyed the Christmas story found in Luke and Matthew and Christmas Hymns.  I love Christmas Sundays. 

I hope the love of God shines in your hearts today and forever.  May we be the Lord's hands and be His bringers of peace and hope to this world. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

No comments: