Finding Christ in Christmas

IMG_7768As my days get more chaotic, I find myself clinging more to objects that remind me of my Savior; Pictures of him, prophetic quotes, scriptures lying around to remind myself that I need to read them. I try to have anything that will cause me to check myself.  What is the most important thing that needs to happen today?

With the Christmas season upon us, I have felt an even stronger pull to focus on what is most important. And most days I feel like a chicken with my head cut off. Christmas time is a magical time, for everyone but mom.

Mom creates the magic, buys all the gifts, plans all the activities, makes sure they get to all the parties and that they have all the festive gear to properly celebrate. I have found myself figuring out ways to help them celebrate and make each day special. Each day is jammed packed and chaotic. I have a to-do list a million miles long and the days are dwindling to get everything done so that everyone has that magical day that I am envisioning. I have bought all the gifts, wrapped all the presents and made sure the stocking stuffers are prepped and ready as soon as possible so that we can just focus on the fun.

Yet, I still feel overwhelmed and when I’m overwhelmed, I have less patience. Having to feed my child 5 snacks before 10 am begins to push me over the edge. The fact that my two babies are in a competition over who can produce the most poop filled diapers has my skin crawling. When my two toddlers decide that half their toys need to be covered in permanent marker, I can feel that break. I need that naptime that my kids wont take. I need them to mold into something they aren’t so that I CAN MAKE CHRISTMAS MAGICAL.

At that moment when I felt like exploding and threatened to take away all of Christmas and just saw screw it all, I happened to looked up. I looked up and saw a picture of my Savior and I was reminded of something I had read on instagram.

It talked about how if you really looked at Christ’s life, it was a mess. “Born in a stable, chased out of the country by Herrod as a toddler, then as a teenager on, he was scrutinized by the leaders of his people. His life was marked by extreme highs of miracles and wonders and incredibly heartbreaking lows.” Through all this, he remained perfect. He never wavered in His LOVE and devotion to create “magic” for those who followed Him. It wasn’t about the gifts that he gave to the people. In terms of physical gifts, he gave very little. But he made every single person who came into his path feel the magic that only he could produce.

Christmas suddenly switched for me. I can create some magic with the gifts I give because those gifts show my love to those receiving. But what good are the gifts under the tree if I spend every day leading up to Christmas yelling at my kids and being completely stressed out trying to create some illusion of magic?

So this week, as my kids have flipped their switch and decided to see who can be the one to actually make me cry, I have instead tried to be more like my Savior. When my two year is screaming bloody murder in the store because he wants to ride the non existent alligator (elevator) I try to have a little more patience and love for this tiny human who just doesn’t understand.  And I will admit, it has been hard. I want to feel the magic of Christmas, not the commercialized magic, but the real simple magic.

The magic of the birth of a baby, born in the simplest of circumstances, who would change the course of our entire eternities with his sacrifices. How can we not feel the magic when we look at a nativity scene and really imagine the sacredness of that moment in time. I try to put myself in Mary’s position. I remember feeling such a weight when each of my children were born. I cannot imagine the emotions, the peace, the love she must have felt in that moment for this little baby who would save all those who reached for his saving grace.

Christmas can be magical as you see all your hard work pay off and the happiness spread on Christmas morning as all the gifts are opened. It can be a bonding experience for you and your family if you focus on the love behind each gift. I truly believe that Santa and the commercial Christmas can still be a learning moment for our children. No matter how small the gift is, it is the effort behind the gifts that should matter.

Your babes wont remember what you got them every year for Christmas. But they will remember how they felt each Christmas season. They will remember the traditions and the good memories that we created for them.  Christmas can be even more magical when we spend time focusing on our Savior and the LOVE he gave. Christmas can be magical when we realize that while the gifts and the lights and the decorations are a fun addition, they are just that, an addition. The true reason for this season is to refocus us, to remind us that, like President Monson said“ true joy comes from and because of him” We will see true joy this Christmas when we take that our tender, caring hearts and lay them at our Savior’s feet as our gift to him. Merry Christmas everyone.

-Alex

 

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