This year, like many others before, I have found myself caught in what I refer to as the “Christmas chasm”. This chasm is the great divide between the ideal Christmas in my head and the Christmas that I actually have the time, energy and means to accomplish.
This chasm is further complicated by the fact that there are actually two ideal Christmases in my head.
The first of these ideal Christmases is very elaborate. In this Christmas, I prepare months ahead of time and spend hours finding or making the perfect gift for each and every person on my list. In this Christmas, the decorations are up and the menu is planned before the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers have been consumed. This Christmas is filled with cookies, candy, caroling and parties.
The second of these ideal Christmases is much simpler. It is filled with peace, quiet and tranquility. In this Christmas, the focus is not on gifts, decorations and cookies, but on the birth of a child in a quiet stable over two-thousand years ago. In this Christmas, I focus not on the perfect gift or the perfect occasion but on the perfect child that was born and the perfect life that He led.
So, once again, I am caught in this Christmas chasm struggling between what the ideal Christmas is and how best to accomplish it. At times, I feel like this chasm is impossible to traverse, but like all the other chasms and valleys in my life, I know that my Savior is there willing to help lift me out and show me the way.
I know that He was the child born in that quiet stable more than two-thousand years ago. I know that He lived a perfect life and that He suffered and died for me. I know that He still lives and that when I need Him, He is always there for me.
Because I know this, with His help, I will try harder to celebrate the perfect Christmas-the one that focuses on His birth and His life.
I will strive to keep the things that He taught in my mind and in my heart this Christmas, next Christmas and all the days in between…