Ever since the beginning of December, I have heard the children singing Christmas carols outside the house. Each time I hear them sing, their voices bring a smile to my face. Sometimes they forget a line or two of the song, and most of the time they just come up with whatever lyrics fit and rhyme. When they receive something from one house, they loudly exclaim “Thank you” and then do the same to the next neighbor.
This scenario always brings me back to the time when I was a little child like them. We usually visited our “ninong” (godfather) and “ninang” (godmother) and sang them a Christmas carol in hopes of getting a small Christmas present. Those were the days when kids expected to receive money, a toy or a bundle of goodies. Back then, I thought Christmas meant receiving gifts from family or having new clothes, toys, and good food.
At some point in our lives, we all experience the excitement of “first times,” and we love to possess “the latest” during this Yuletide season. Perhaps to some, when they’re able to save enough money, they look forward to buying the latest gadget in the store or purchasing newly arrived, imported bags or a new pair of shoes.
But as I grew up, Christmas took on a new meaning for me. I learned that Christmas is not just about exchanged gifts and parties everywhere. It’s even more than that. The real meaning of Christmas is Jesus Christ, Himself.
As my understanding of the gospel has grown, I’ve learned to love the Savior more than those material possessions. The Christian world may be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ every December; however, as a Latter-day Saint, I ought to remember Him each and every day of my life.
As I gain more knowledge about Him, little by little, I realize how important Christ’s Atonement is for us. I’ve come to know that He loves us so much. Because of His Atonement, I can be forgiven. Because of His infinite sacrifice, I can repent and be made clean again. With Him and through Him, I can be with my family in Heavenly Father’s presence someday.
I am so very blessed to have the knowledge and testimony of Christ’s Atonement. Now that I have my own family, I’m glad to be able to share these sacred truths with my children. What greater joy and blessing can we receive than to see our children grow in truth and righteousness! We can always live happily, when we obey God’s commandments.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, may we have joy in our hearts. May that love, peace and happiness we yearn for will be felt within our homes. May we never forget that Jesus Christ is the reason for the season.
(This, as told by Sister Aurora A. in sacrament meeting on December 4, 2016 – Fast and Testimony Sunday)