So, Christmas season is upon us. For me, every year is a real roller coaster of emotions. When the turkey from Thanksgiving has been put away and we begin to focus on Christmas, I start to think of what I will give each of my children for Christmas. To be honest, it is becoming more and more difficult to come up with any " needs " my children have.
They are almost all teenagers, they all have employment or odd jobs, and usually, when they really, really want something, they will find a way to earn enough money to purchase the said need/want.
This year has been more difficult than ever. I added up the goods in Alex's back pack the other day: iPod, cell phone, Netbook.... not cheap people! I never carried anything expensive to school, ever. I don't think any of us did in the old days. Boom boxes were forbidden and Walkman's were a luxury. We would have never considered taking one to school. It is now commonplace for kids to walk around the halls of their school with literally hundreds of dollars worth of "stuff " in their pockets and backpacks.
So, I start out with the predicament of not knowing what I am going to buy and find myself suddenly sliding into the " it's not enough " mode. I quickly loose focus on what we DO have and start to lament what we DON'T have. "If only I could buy.... instead of this cheap old.... I would be so much happier with Christmas".
How do I loose my focus so quickly?
Last night as we were perusing the aisles of Costco, being lured in with all of the fancy electronics I found myself becoming more and more depressed. Gosh, we can only afford a lame-o LCD flat screen TV instead of this nifty $3000 3-D 70" TV. Poor me, I can't have this SLR camera, my life is so stinkin' hard, sniff sniff. On and on I went, spiraling further and further down, until it hit me square in the face...
I have totally lost the true meaning of Christmas. Seriously, how did I check my sense of gratitude for my Savior and all that He has blessed me with at the Costco doors? I couldn't help but feel ashamed of my rotten attitude. And boy did I do some adjusting. My goal for the rest of the season, and hopefully all future seasons, is to remember. REMEMBER... what this season is truly about.
As I have watched my children look under the tree and shake their gifts, it makes me think of our loving Heavenly Father. Brandon is one who does not have a gift under the tree, yet. He asked me " Will you buy a gift for me too? " The spirit touched me as I pondered the meaning of his question.
How many times do we look at all of the gifts of others around us and wonder if Heavenly Father has a gift for us? Did He somehow forget how badly we wanted a gift? Did He realize that our brother or sister has a really huge gift all wrapped up and pretty, and we have nothing?
Little do we remember, our Heavenly Father would never forget us. He has numerous gifts for each of us, some tucked under the bed or in the closet, just waiting to be wrapped, and then opened, and most of all, appreciated. No child in our family would be forgotten at Christmas and no child of The Father, will ever be forgotten.
So, in the early hours of Christmas morning ( which aren't so early anymore now that we have teenagers ), each one of my dearly loved children will look around with delight amid all of the ribbon and wrapping papers and recognize the gifts, chosen, especially for them individually. A symbol of my love for each of them.
And, one morning, when Christ has come, each one of Heavenly Father's children will look around, and realize we were not forgotten. Although one gift was wrapped in different paper, and another may have had more bows, or was larger, we were each given the gifts that our Father chose for us. We will no longer wonder if we were remembered. The true meaning of Christmas will be the one and only gift that matters, as it is the greatest gift ever given.