A V-formation flock of geese seems to have one member of the group as the leader, but each member takes its turn at the point of the V, leading the way as the others in the formation honk in encouragement. The geese stay together, even when one becomes sick or injured; the group stays with it until it is well enough to continue the journey at its regular pace.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
MY CHRISTMAS CARD TO YOU
Part of my childhood was spent in a small mountain valley
where on Sundays, special occasions, and Christmas, church bells rang out the
glad news. Locked in my memories of Christmas mornings is one when the valley was covered with a
thick layer of snow.The air was sharp
with cold, and frost had turned the trees to fantasy sculptures. As I stood
outside before entering the barn, I heard the bells.The sound carried from down in the valley
creating one of those perfect moments of beauty that became a piece of what
Christmas means to me.
Over the years my parents, my siblings, my husband and
children, friends, teachers, co-workers, neighbors, ward or branch members, those
who read my books, and even those I only know from mutual interest internet
groups have woven their way into my Christmas feelings and memories. I've given
and I've received.The secret Santas,
the homemade gifts, the shopping binges, the parties, concerts, and school
plays have taught me the joy of giving and gracious receiving.
A great musician learned by chance that I'm tone deaf and
made it his mission to teach me to hear. Among the pieces he painstakingly
helped me to differentiate the sounds from noise to music were the old
Christmas carols.Years later, working
in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, the organist on the shift where I serve
discovered that I can hear the melody of songs played on the chime setting of
the temple organ. Since then she always adds the chimes anytime she plays the
organ when I am present.Thus music has
become a deeply appreciated part of Christmas for me.
When family or friends gather, food becomes one of those
social mediums that brings us together. At no time is this more true than at
Christmas.Most of us have a favorite
food we associate with Christmas.My
older brothers gave my sisters and me a box of cherry chocolates for Christmas
each year when we were little.Without
cherry chocolates would it still be Christmas?I grew up with a goose, not turkey or ham for Christmas dinner. Mama's
carrot pudding, oranges, and raisin filled cookies all mean Christmas to me.
There are those who remind us Christ wasn't really born on
December twenty-fifth. Others are adamant that the gift giving and parties
distract from the true meaning of Christmas. Some make a big deal over wishing
someone Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't think it
matters what day we celebrate as Christ's birthday; the important point is to
recognize that He came and the manner of greeting matters far less than the
sincere heartfelt desire to wish another a message of caring.Giving gifts, providing comfort, warmth, and
good meals for the homeless and poor, the gathering of families in love for one
another are the very things He taught us. It's good to have a time to pause and
reflect on our beliefs, acknowledge those who have helped us in life, join
together in families and friendship, give the best gifts we can, and spread
good will throughout the world.As for
me, I choose to also make Christmas a time to worship and a time to ask God's
blessings on all those who have touched my life for good. It's a time to
remember Jesus is the greatest gift to mankind.
Christmas is a time to wish all of you a blessed Christmas.
May this season bring you warmth, joy, peace, and the best of memories.