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Christmas: Embracing the Spirit of Love This Holiday Season

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My 11-year-old son told me yesterday that he didn't get the meaning of Christmas. What? Have I failed as a parent.

Mary and Joseph-Nativity

We are Christians and are regular church goers. How could he, in all of his 11 years, have missed out on the meaning of Christmas?

Salt Lake City-LDS Temple-LDS Temple Square-Utah-Mormons

He has never gotten into gifts. Presents don't mean much to him. It's not that he's not grateful when he does receive gifts, but if it were up to him, we'd do away with this particular tradition.

He has always embraced the notion that it's better to give than receive, so emphasizing that during December (more than any other month) has made him scratch his head and ask why.

To confuse him even more, he learned that Christ may have really been born in the Spring instead of on December 25. He questioned, "Why would we be celebrating Christ's birthday in December if his birthday is possibly not in December?"

This entire conversation was taking place as the choir was singing beautiful Christmas songs at church no less.

Then, a friend from our congregation got up to speak. And in the middle of her talk about the meaning of Christmas, she shared some stories about ways to give to others that had nothing to do with gifts. She encouraged everyone to drop the last syllable from Christmas and focus instead on the spirit of Christ. My son turned to me and said, "Oh! I get it! It doesn't really matter if we celebrate His birthday when it's REALLY his birthday. And it doesn't matter if we get gifts. All that matters is that we have the spirit of Christ in our hearts all year long!"

Whether it takes us til we are 11 or 111, I hope we can all, regardless of our religious backgrounds, embrace the spirit of kindness, peace, joy, and love... all the qualities that Christ promoted and exemplified... during this holiday season.

Mom It Forward Holiday Card 2012

Have a wonderful holiday season!

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Victoria is obSEUSSed with bringing children’s stories and characters to life through kid crafts and fun activities. Inspired by Dr. Seuss, she hopes to get children excited about reading by encouraging moms to be librarians at home. All three of her children love books, including her 6-month-old.

Comments

One Response to “Christmas: Embracing the Spirit of Love This Holiday Season”

  1. TechyDad says:

    Christmas isn’t the only holiday whose meaning gets lost. I’m very concerned that my kids think Chanukah is “That Time Of Year When We Get 8 Presents And They Better All Be Toys!” Lighting the menorah is an exciting affair for them because they know they get a present afterwards. I would explain that this wasn’t really a Chanukah tradition, so many times that my oldest son once repeated my “speech” to me verbatim before I said it, but they don’t internalize it.

    Chanukah was about a successful fight for religious freedom, not about whether you get the latest Nintendo game or Lego set. Sadly, the meaning of the entire holiday season has been co-opted by the push to purchase gifts.

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