Archive for the ‘christmas’ Tag

A Christmas Creed

Christmas is coming up and it seems like every year I get carried away trying to do everything. I feel like it is my job to make Christmas special for my family, but since we do not yet have any firm traditions, I end up trying to do everything.  In the past I’ve ended up feeling stressed out and like I’m missing out on the Christmas spirit.

So, this year I am adopting a new Christmas creed: celebrating Christmas is about our family. Yesterday I was looking at my plan for Christmas I realized that most of the activities I had planned were things I had seen other people do, but that really didn’t matter much to our family. For example, after visiting the bishop’s beautifully decorated home, I wanted our home to be beautifully decorated, too. And, after seeing the products of one woman’s Christmas bake-off I also wanted to bake lots and lots of Christmas goodies. Yet, at this point the only one in my family who cares about Christmas decorations are me, and it’s okay with me if everything isn’t quite perfect yet, nor do we have the funds right now to go all out like this other woman had. And, there aren’t enough people in our family yet to eat lots of Christmas goodies – we can hardly make it through a single batch of sugar cookies! A Christmas bake-off also would not help our goal of eating more healthy.

As I thought about what would actually make Christmas better for our family, I realized the number one thing was just doing things together at a family. Yet, somehow I had left out those kind of activities almost entirely from my plans. Not just that but I realized that other plans I had could be changed to make them easier on me and more enjoyable for my family.

So, this year, whenever I come up with a Christmas plan I’m going to ask myself these questions:

  • Which family member(s) will get something from this activity and what will they get out of it?
  • Is the amount of work and effort I put into this activity proportional to the amount of joy and fun my family will receive from it?
  • Is there maybe an easier way to do this plan that will still bring the same benefit at the same or similar monetary cost?
  • How can I do this activity in such a way that it will bring our family closer together?

I’m already feeling much more into the Christmas spirit. I still have ideas for lots of fun things to do, but they are things that are really going to make a difference for me and my family, not things that just stress me out and bring my family little joy.

What family activities do you do that really bring the Spirit of Christmas for you and your family?

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Spirit of Christmas, Spirit of Christ

Reading: “The Best Christmas Ever,” Thomas S. Monson, Ensign December 2008

I’m back!  We are moved in, we have an internet connection, and the house is starting to get settled.  I hope to be back to my semi-regular postings starting today.

The center of President Monson’s article was this quote from David O. McKay:

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.

It seems that what he is saying is that to truly celebrate Christmas we should endeavor to become more like Christ.

In my life, sometimes I have a hard time remembering to focus on Christ in Christmas.  I get very busy with everything that needs to be done.  Presents to shop for and presents to make, as well as goodies and so on, fill up my time.

Today we are going shopping for a Christmas tree, and so it is the beginning of truly celebrating Christmas in our house.  Today I’m also going to talk to my husband and see if we can come up with a fun activity that encourages us to do kind things for other people to celebrate Christmas.

How do you celebrate Christ at Christmas?