'Tis The Season

December 10, 2008

Christmas is my favorite time of year, but aside from the lights, snow and magical ambiance of the atmosphere, it reminds each of us to be a little better, a little kinder, and a little closer to remembering who it was that set the perfect example of keeping Christmas in your heart all year round.

I once walked into a store to do some of my usual Christmas shopping and ran across this sign:
Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy... forgiveness,
To an opponent... tolerance.
To every child... a good example.
To every friend... a smile.
To your family... your love.
To yourself... respect.
To all... your heart.

Now, years later, I have found a miraculous example of someone who followed that wise advice when he had every reason not to. I guess
shouldn't have been surprised when I saw this story as the headline on MSN.com, but I was.

"A Korean immigrant whose wife, two young daughters and mother-in-law perished when a military jet crashed into his house [just two weeks before Christmas] says... "Please pray for him not to suffer."
Recently reminded during the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, we heard of what President David O. McKay once declared: “True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service. It is the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ, obedience to which will bring ‘peace on earth,’ because it means—good will toward all men."
President Thomas S. Monson then concluded, "Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than things. To catch the real meaning of the “spirit of Christmas,” we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the “Spirit of Christ.”

I wish everyone the very Merriest Christmas, and will wish (because I always do anyway) that we can try to do the same as old Ebeneezer Scrooge when he promised, "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."

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