Tag Archives: Christmas

Oh Christmas Tree

The King of Kings was born in a manger some 2000 years ago. On that night, a new star appeared in the heavens. The star gave light to those seeking the Light of the World. From that first Christmas night, lights have been used to symbolize the Christ Child. Sometime during the renaissance, candles were placed on trees at Christmas to symbolize the birth of the Babe in Bethlehem.

Many now bring lighted trees inside their homes during the Christmas season, yet, the purpose and meaning of the lighted symbol has been forgotten or lost entirely. Lights may adorn the festive holiday trees during the Christmas season and then be put away or, eventually burn out completely, yet, the Candle of the Christ Child, the Light of the World still burns brightly.

For those in need, for those who mourn, for those who feel alone, or lost, or forgotten, the Light of the World still shines during this Christmas season and throughout the year. Perhaps the lights of the season, the symbols of Christmas, may remind us of his gift and bring our footsteps closer to him through the kindness of our actions whenever and wherever we may find them still burning.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. –Luke 2:14

Prayers Ascending
The prayers of those in need rise from this tree shaped candelabra at a Catholic Cathedral in Rome.

Searching for the Spirit of Christmas

Temple Square Reflecting Pool
The reflecting pool on Temple Square tells the story of Christmas in twinkling lights.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
― Charles DickensA Christmas Carol

This past year I have been in nearly 30 countries. I have stood on every continent (except Antarctica–maybe next year :). I have been away from home more than I like, more than I should. I have been running as fast as I can, working as hard as I am able. I have had some marvelous, even miraculous experiences. Yet, I would choose to stay home, surrounded by family and friends.

Christmas Lights on Temple Square
Surrounded by thousands of twinkling Christmas lights, the Salt Lake Temple stands as a symbol of faith and hope to more than 15 million Latter-day Saints (Mormons) across the world.

And so it was that our family gathered for Thanksgiving. It was a joyous experience to be with those whom I know love me. The day after Thanksgiving, we all went to Salt Lake City to see the Christmas Lights on Temple Square. As is typical when our family gathers, we were in a hurry. It was cold. We ran through Temple Square trying not to lose each other, trying not to knock anyone over, trying not to lose the Grandparents who wanted to keep up but who kept stopping to enjoy the sights. I barely had time to pull out my camera.

The Color of Christmas
Red, a color of Christmas, lights for the Star of Bethlehem, stone for the Rock of Salvation.

After getting separated, and reconnecting (thanks to cell phones), we ended up at my son and daughter-in-laws apartment drinking egg nog and playing “Apples to Apples.” It was fun, and exhausting, in a good way.

When we returned home, I realized, again, that the joy of Christmas is in keeping it in our hearts and our homes.  I do believe there is a gift, given freely by him, whom we celebrate, that lights our homes, our hearts and our minds, even in the darkest of times.

“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”
― Charles DickensA Christmas Carol

Star of Bethlehem
Soaring above Temple Square, a star shaped display points across time to the Babe of Bethlehem, born in a manger.