I have been going through the endless list in my head of things to do to prepare for the Christmas holidays.
Christmas shopping? check.
Family pictures? check.
Festivizing the house with red and green? check.
Writing and sending a family Christmas letter? check.
Waking up to the first snowfall of the year? check.
Figuring out what to give/make neighbors and friends for Christmas? check.
Visiting family and loved ones? planned.
Wrapping the presents? If I hadn't left my wrapping paper in Utah. . . .
And the list goes on.
So what? What is it all for? If we are just trying to cross everything off the list and be glad it's done, then what is left? I just accomplished a whole lot of things, and now they're all done. So was that it? I thought the holidays were supposed to be special.
What is it that makes the holidays special?
Is it watching the snow gently and peacefully fall, blanketing the earth with beauty and solace (until someone drives a car through it)?
Is it stressing out about making goodies for neighbors, family, and friends to show them you love them even though they already know?
Is it taking time to find the perfect gift for someone after racking your brain for what to get said person?
Is it being with family although you come back more tired than you were before because you were up all night talking and laughing?
Is it finally squeezing in a last moment of relaxation after you've spent the rest of the holidays stressing out?
Or is it the fact that you are doing it all with love? Isn't that what it's all about? Taking extra time (even though it may be stressful) to be more loving and show a little more compassion?
The holiday season is all about love, inside and out. We have the holidays because of love--the love of our Savior. He came to this earth because He loves us, and we should spend this whole season showing our gratitude to Him by loving others.
Let us take a moment in our hectic holiday schedules to remember that we do so many things because we love. If we race through all the shopping, cleaning, baking, and making, we are forgetting the whole purpose of why we are doing it. The great joy of the season is doing everything with more love.
The spirit of Christmas is love.