When Mikayla was about three or four years old, we were trying to get the kids out to the car to go somewhere. Today, I can't even tell you where we were going that was so important at the time, but I know we were in a hurry to get there. Everyone was in the car except Kayla. "Please hurry Mikayla", I called, "We are going to be late!". "I'm coming, mama" came a little voice from somewhere back in the house. "I'm coming". In frustration I yelled back, "Yes and so is Christmas!" She came racing up the hall. "Mama, is it Christmas yet? I just love Christmas! It is my favorite time of the year!"
It wasn't Christmas yet, but it made me think. What is Christmas to me? What is it about that day that made my child skip down the hall with a smile on her face and happiness in her heart? What does Christmas truly mean? Is it something we do or is it something we feel?
Well, I can tell you that I just love Christmas too! It truly is one of my favorite times of the year.
As I read the account of the birth of my Savior, I long to have the same experience that the Wise Men had, to be led by a star; or to have the same experience what the shepherds did, to see a host of heavenly angels, praising God and singing. I want to walk into the stable and kneel at the manger and smell the clean straw and see that tiny new born baby fast asleep in his mother's arms. I wnat to see the tenderness in the face of Joseph as he watched Mary with the child. I want to witness for myself this great miracle.
I believe that in every one of us, there is an instinctive desire to come unto Christ. We are each a child of God, and the desire is there to become more like Him. That is probably why so many hearts turn to worship during the Christmas season. They recognize a celebration that their own souls hunger to be part of.
At Christmas time, let us each hear the invitation given by our Savior to "come, follow me". We can join Him as we walk this road of life. We can share in His love and find answers for our prayers. We can find comfort in His peace. We can join Him in our journey. We do not need to be alone.
I know that the Lord has atoned for my sins and I know that He loves me and that He has invited each of us to “Come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness.” (Alma 5:35; see also Alma 4:3.) My personal, honest response to His request is the same as my sweet daughter, Mikayla's, “I’m coming.”
President Thomas S. Monson said: “Christmas is many things to many people—from the eager, materialistic grasping of a child for a present to the deep spiritual thankfulness of the mature heart for the gift of a Savior. If there is one common denominator, perhaps it is this: Christmas is love. Christmas is the time when the bonds of family love transcend distance and inconvenience. It is a time when love of neighbor rises above petty day-to-day irritations and doors swing open to give and receive expressions of appreciation and affection.”
May we all cheerfully answer, "I'm coming" as we strive to love one another and to help those around us. May we cheerfully say, "I'm coming", as we continue to make Christmas a part of each day. Not just for the holiday season, but every day of the year.