To all those who celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas!
Our holiday from school started unceremoniously last Monday with a kid throwing up. Great. As the week progressed, various others have succumbed to not feeling so hot either. I felt so frustrated about how it would all affect our plans for the week with friends and family – and it did. And so, I’ve been grateful for this perspective:
“We have in our minds a picture of how everything should be – the perfect tree, the perfect lights, the perfect gifts, and the perfect family events. We might even want to re-create some magical moment we remember from Christmases past, and nothing short of perfection will do.
“Sooner or later, something unpleasant occurs . . . the turkey burns, the sweater is the wrong size . . . the children quarrel, the pressure rises – and the picture-perfect Christmas we had imagined, the magic we had intended to create, shatters around us. As a result, the Christmas season is often a time of stress, anxiety, frustration, and perhaps even disappointment.
“But then, if we are only willing to open our hearts and minds to the spirit of Christmas, we will recognize wonderful things happening around us that will direct or redirect our attention to the sublime. It is usually something small – we read a verse of scripture; we hear a sacred carol and really listen, perhaps for the first time to its words; or we witness a sincere expression of love. In one way or another, the Spirit touches our hearts and we see that Christmas, in its essence, is much more sturdy and enduring that the many minor things of life we too often use to adorn it.
“In these precious moments, we realize what we feel and know in our heart – that Christmas is really about the Christ.” ~Dieter Uchtdorf (you can read the whole address here).
So even though it hasn’t been “perfect”, Christmas is already Perfect on its own. And that’s all we really need.