Faith · Family · LDS

The True Meaning of Christmas

Christmas is a time of year for giving, service, love and family. I think in all the hustle and bustle of shopping and lists we forget that sometimes. It is one of my favorite things lately to get on Instagram and to see fun pictures of families building ginger bread houses, or getting a tree, or even looking at Christmas lights together! These things just make my heart burst. It’s wonderful to see families being close and loving one another.

Jackson is still definitely too young to do some of these things, but Jon and I have been trying really hard to spend more quality family time together. We have been listening to Christmas music (even though it’s not necessarily Jon’s favorite) watching Christmas movies, and doing things that we all love. Jackson’s favorite activity seems to be getting ice cream, and I can’t complain about that! We also love sitting by the tree, drinking hot chocolate and just spending time together! Jackson has even been doing some pretty cute crafts, which we will talk about in a different post!

The other day I came down with a not so fun stomach bug, so Jon took Jackson and I to my mom’s house so she could care for Jackson, and I could rest, while Jon worked. I have never been more thankful to live so close to family!

On our way home, Jon and I were listening to Christmas music, and talking about the latest documentary we had been watching, and about other rather trivial things. We listened to a lot of fun Christmas classics, like “White Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” and my personal favorite, “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time.”

I decided I wanted to listen to the Forgotten Carols, which Jon had never seen. He had heard one song, but was not familiar with the Michael McLean musical. The Forgotten Carols is a musical about a nurse, whose life seems fairly empty. She starts treating a new patient, who recounts the story of Christ’s birth from the perspective of little known characters. These various accounts make her realize that people have forgotten about the spirit of Christmas, and it’s true meaning,

We were listening to the song “The Inn Keeper (Let Him In)”. It’s a fairly popular song, and it is absolutely beautiful. It centers around the Inn keeper who turned away Joseph and Mary on the night Christ was born. The first words are:

“I am a man forgotten
No one recalls my name
Thousands of years will fail to
Fully erase my shame
But I turned a profit
Nicely the day
That I turned the couple away
I turned them away…”

He goes on to talk about this couple who he turned away because he didn’t think they could pay, or could they? He talks about how this whole experience really bothered him:

“Restless, I left my bedroom
I walked the streets all night
Lost in the world I lived in
Found by a heavenly light
Staring at one bright star in the sky
I heard a baby cry
And I knew where that cry
Had come from
‘Cuz I’d told them where
they could go
But I didn’t think I could face them
And so I walked slowly home
Missing my chance
To share in their joy
I never saw the boy.”

It really makes you think, how would you have felt if you had been in this man’s shoes? If he had known who it was, would he have let them in? Would you? Would I?

The song transitions and talks about how we all have room, or are able to make room for the Savior in our lives. I think that is something that is really important this time of year. We get so caught up in Santa and presents, that we forget what Christmas is really about.

Jon and I agreed that, while we are still going to have Santa bring gifts and such, we really want our kids to understand that Christmas isn’t about getting material presents. It’s about the wonderful gift we all received on that first Christmas night. It’s something that, especially now days, seems to be forgotten. We need to “Let Him in” a lot more, especially during this holiday season.

The song goes on to say:

“And whether it be
In your world today
Or a crowded Bethlehem Inn,
Find a way
Make Him room
Let Him in!”

If we make room for the Savior in our lives, he offers us his unconditional love! In the words of the innkeeper:

“He never would condemn me
I did that all on my own
He offered His forgiveness
And ever since then, I’ve known
He lets us choose
Each hour of each day
If we’ll let Him in to stay

Let Him In.”

That’s what Christmas is all about. The presents are nice, and giving to one another is always fun too! As a parent I find Christmas so fun, because I get to surprise my son!
But the best part has to be teaching him about the true meaning of Christmas!

So this year, and every year after, let’s all try to remember what Christmas is about! The Grinch got it right when he realized that Christmas is about more than presents. “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Christmas is about family, friends, and being together. Its about putting aside our differences, and coming together to celebrate with family and friends. It’s about celebrating the Birth of our Savior, and the eventual sacrifice he would make for us all.

Merry Christmas!

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