My Silent Night
Let’s be honest.
Christmas is hard.
It’s supposed to be a joyful time- but when you’re in my shoes, sometimes, it’s just hard.
As hard as I try to feel absolute joy about Christmas, every once in a while, the sadness creeps in. It’s inevitable. It’s usually when I get beautiful Christmas cards from my friends that include pictures and that detailed letter about everyone’s activities. It’s during the ward party when everyone sits with their kids. It’s at the Christmas parades, at the light festivals, in the stores, in the mall when I see the line to see Santa.
And most of all, it’s Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.
All over the world, parents are burning the midnight oil preparing the best Christmas ever for their kids and then being woken up before the sun even comes up. They stumble, half awake, into the living room to the delighted shrieks of children.
My night is actually silent.
I sleep in.
The only thing that wakes me up is my cat Max wanting outside.
He can’t even open presents because he doesn’t have any thumbs.
I have no child to share my traditions with.
No clumsily made paper chain on my tree.
No cookies for Santa.
No reindeer hoofprints on the porch.
I’ve even stopped listening to Christmas music on the radio because of the small chance that I may hear that song “Christmas is for Kids”.
It seems that Christmas is all about being a child or having one, doesn’t it?
And to be completely honest- it is.
Christmas is absolutely about a child- a baby, in fact.
It is about a baby born to a beautiful mother and a carpenter. Its about a baby born in the most meager of circumstances, in the most humble of places, on the most silent of nights. It is about a baby who was born with the sole purpose of saving me and you. It is about a baby who grows into a perfect man that teaches and loves and heals and performs miracles during His life. The same baby suffered in Gethsemane and was crucified so that we can live again. It is the same baby that today comforts and heals us in our darkest of times.
Christmas isn’t about the material things that we give one another, but rather what we can give back to Him. It is our time to celebrate His life, His birth, His example and His sacrifice. It is a time to rejoice in the gift He has given us of eternal life. It is a time to be grateful for the blessings that He gives us, for the comfort, for the love, for the forgiveness, for the understanding, for the healing and for the hope that following Him offers.
As I set up my nativities this year, I found myself reflecting on this very thing. Can you imagine a life without the Savior? Without knowing of our eternal potential? Without an older Brother to sacrifice Himself willingly for your sins? I can’t….and to be frank, I don’t want to. He is everything. EVERYTHING. He makes everything else worth it. He makes every day worth living. He offers healing and hope and comfort that can’t be found anywhere else. Because of Him, we will have eternal life. Because this baby was born, I can have an eternal family. Because this baby was born, there is hope for me to raise children in the eternities. Because of Him, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Because of His birth, I can be forgiven and strive every day to be better.
How can Christmas NOT be about a baby?
As I’ve taken the time this year to think about all the amazing things in my life that are simply because of my Savior, I can clearly see that there’s no way around the fact that Christmas is about a baby. Plain and simple. I’ve found myself pondering more about His life and what I can offer to Him. I’ve also noticed that Christmas is starting to be a joyful experience again. How can I be grumpy when the very event that I’m celebrating is such an integral part of my life? His birth is the very thing that makes my life worth living. As He teaches us in John Chapter 14, He is “the way, the truth and the life”.
It’s true. Every word. He is the way. He is the truth. He is the life. And we cannot make it back to our Father in Heaven without Him. I cannot make it through a day without Him. I rely on His love and mercy every day. I am strengthened and comforted and loved as I’ve learned to lean on Him. All things will be made right. All of them.
And all because a baby was born.
Merry Christmas, my dearest friends.
May you take the time this year to feel His love and to share His love with others.
And most importantly, I wish you peace and comfort.
All my love,