One of the hardest things I have experienced the last several years has been being along most of the Christmas season. Christmas is typically a very family oriented time of year and it is bad enough having no little children in the house, but being alone just plain stinks.
This year I have been able to successfully avoid holiday depression and have learned a lot about the Christmas and the birth and death of our Savior. I think it was truly a blessing that I was asked to write the Christmas program for church. I started doing a lot of research on the topic back in early November and was able to immerse myself more in the actual meaning of Christmas than worry about missing the family celebrations that seem to surround the season.
While researching Christmas topics, I read about a book that Charles Dickens wrote for his family called, “The Life of Our Lord.” This was basically his way to teach his children about Jesus Christ and I obtained a copy of the book and am going to make it part of both my Christmas and Easter celebrations in the future.
I also took the time to dig out my copy of “The Story of Christmas: Story Book Set & Advent Calendar.” Jennifer received a copy of this as a Christmas gift many years ago and I was thrilled to find a copy for my own. There is a little ornament for each day in December up until Christmas and each ornament is a mini book that contains the Christmas story. Twilight and I read these stories aloud as I hung the ornaments on the tree.
I had never really read the entire story of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and took the time to read that while I have been laid up in bed for the past week or so. Another book that will become part of my Christmas celebrations since it points out how we often overlook the joy and meaning of our lives while focusing on the negative in life.
My Amazon Kindle is one of my all time favorite geek toys in the world. Amazon often offers free books and some of the free books I have been reading this past week have made me appreciate much about the holiday:
- The Christmas Story from the Family Reading Bible – it is always educational to see how other religions view Christmas and gain knowledge from their perspective
- The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manager – a fascinating look from a journalists perspective as he tries to find if Jesus really was the Savior and if the Bible stories are true
- 25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever – steps to take each day in December to better enjoy the holiday season and make Christmas more meaningful in both secular and spiritual ways
- Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas – made me appreciate Christmas carols and hymns so much more. I never knew that The 12 Days of Christmas had spiritual meaning behind each days gifts.
And – not to forget the best – lots of time spent reading Old Testament revelations about the birth of Christ, the stories in the Gospels of the New Testament about Jesus, and the scriptures and story of His birth in the Book of Mormon.
While I have been pretty miserable for the last 10 or so days as I have struggled with illness, I am really grateful for the opportunities I have had to learn and understand even more about the real meaning of Christmas.