Last night some family and I went to the Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center. This has been a tradition for us for some years, and I always look forward to it. My friend Nicole said once that Devotional was her start to the Christmas season, and I have to agree. I wasn’t really feeling it before last night, but the scenery, songs and messages put my heart in the right place for the holidays.
President Uchtdorf’s message was especially meaningful to me this year. He actually quoted from “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”! “Every Who Down in Whoville Liked Christmas a lot…But the Grinch, Who lived just north of Whoville, Did NOT!” He said that with all of the business and frenzy of Christmas, it’s easy to become exhausted and burnt out on the whole thing, and to think, like the Grinch, that “I MUST find some way to stop Christmas from coming!"
I admit, and most of you already know, that I have struggled to feel any magic in Christmas at all these past few years. I’ve fought feelings of loneliness and the disappointment of not having a family of little ones to wake up with on Christmas morning. I’ve looked back at the completed year and thought that it wasn’t much to feel positive about. And, of course, I work retail! If those other things don’t kill Christmas, then retail certainly will. I have often gotten to about December 20th and wished that the whole thing were just over. Sad and shameful, I know.
But, this year I feel differently. Maybe it’s because I’ve opened my eyes to all of the blessing life has given me. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken notice of my friends at the store who are there working with me and know how much I love being there with them. Maybe it’s that my heart has finally matured enough to accept and even appreciate the simple pleasures of being single, or because I know better that my family loves me for who I am. I think it’s a little bit of everything. And, last night, President Uchtdorf reminded me of something else, something more – Christmas is the celebration of the birth and life of the Savior of the world. I believe in Christ with all of my heart. I believe in his love for all of us, and that brings real joy.
This year I’m going to keep things simple, keep from spending too much money, enjoy time with friends and family, and work to being the best Angie I can be, the kind of person the Lord would have me be.
I hope that you all find your own moments of peace, joy and gratitude over the next few weeks. And if the urge to be Grinchy becomes overwhelming, just remember that God loves you, and Angie does too ;).
PS - If you didn't get to see the devotional, or are wondering what I'm talking about, there's a link here.