Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!
I love Christ's humble beginning, glorious life, His death and Resurrection, 
and of course His triumphant Atonement.
I am a directly and forever affected by all of Him.
I love Him and honor Him today and forever.
I love what the wonderful Jeffery R. Holland shared with the world
in a recent IG post.  I love that it
helped me feel deeply about Christ, and 
 Mary and Joseph, and their roles in the beloved 
Christmas story.

* * * * *
"My wife and children can testify that no one 
gets more giddy about the giving and receiving of presents than I do.
 But for that very reason, I, like you, need to remember the 
very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel 
or wrapping or goods of this world. 
Only when we see that single, sacred, unadorned object of our 
devotion—the Babe of Bethlehem—will we know why
 “’tis the season to be jolly” and why the giving of gifts is so appropriate.

I wonder what emotions Joseph might have had as he
 cleared away the dung and debris. I wonder if he felt the sting 
of tears as he hurriedly tried to find the 
cleanest straw and hold the animals back.

I’ve thought of Mary, too, this most favored mortal woman 
in the history of the world. It is here I stumble, here that
 I grasp for the feelings a mother has when she knows she has
 conceived a living soul, feels life quicken and grow within her womb, 
and carries a child to delivery. At such times fathers stand aside and watch,
 but mothers feel and never forget.

With only Joseph’s inexperienced assistance, she herself brought forth
 her firstborn son, wrapped him in the little clothes she had knowingly
 brought on her journey, and perhaps laid him on a pillow of hay. 
Then on both sides of the veil a heavenly host broke into song.
 “Glory to God in the highest,” they sang, “and on earth, peace 
among men of good will.” But except for heavenly witnesses,
 these three were alone: Joseph, Mary, the baby to be named Jesus.

Shepherds would soon arrive and, later, wise men from the East. 
Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa
 Claus and Frosty and Rudolph—and all would be welcome. 
But first and forever there was just a little family, 
without toys or trees or tinsel. 
With a baby—that’s how Christmas began"
Christmas in 1940something.
My Papa Layton and Nana Aurora with daughters Karen,
Janet at the piano, and my mom little "Umi" Cynthia Jones.

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