The True Gifts of Christmas


Just days before Christmas, I read a short news story about a child in our small town who was hit and killed in a terrible auto-pedestrian accident. According to the report, it was a horrible instance of tragic timing, that happened so fast the driver did not have time to stop. Regardless of the full details, two families are grieving at a time of year that should be full of magic and joy. It brought back memories of a tragic event in my own family this same week more than three decades ago, when close relatives lost their baby to sudden-infant death syndrome in our home. I can still feel the grief and sadness of that day all these years later.

It is such awful timing—right before Christmas. The day we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But these events are also powerful reminders of why He came to earth. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said,

To be true to the complete experience we must on occasion speak of Christmases—and other days in our individual and collective lives—that for whatever reason may not be as joyful or do not seem to be “the season to be jolly.” …

The true meaning, the unique, joyous meaning of the birth of this baby was not confined to those first hours in Bethlehem but would be realized in the life He would lead and in His death, in His triumphant atoning sacrifice … and in His prison-bursting Resurrection. These are the realities that make Christmas joyful.

These tragedies help us to focus on the real joys of Christmas—which are not the lights, presents, trees and trimmings, but are the gifts that Jesus Christ brought to us.

To read the entire article: Mormon Beliefs