Thursday, January 5, 2017



Some years ago a family situation found us far away from home on the 28th of September, in a suburb of Seattle, Washington, named Woodenville. As we were going down the main street, we passed a large nursery called Molbaks.

At first I didn’t notice, but something subconsciously made me look again; it really was true, the windows of this large store were totally decked with all the types of Christmas trees that one could imagine.

This was not November 28th (just after Thanksgiving), not even October 28th (just before Halloween) but the 28th of September (when our children had just returned to classes after summer vacation). The freshness of the displays eliminated the possibility of last year’s laziness and therefore, I knew that this was a deliberate attempt to stretch the commercialization of Christmas beyond the bounds of propriety.

In the rapidity which only the processes of the mind and some monster computers can achieve, my thoughts skipped from rejection and revulsion concerning the blatant 28th of September display to a remembrance of thoughts vocalized the 28th of December last.
Vividly, across the span of time through the miraculous capacity of the mind, came the words as if they were now first being spoken; ‘I wish the feelings and goodness and love which have abounded this Christmas season could remain with us all year long.’

Gratefully, I quickly repented of my feelings of rejection and revulsion and decided that I would determine not to fight the feeling, and even resolved to become part of the flow of Christmas Spirit which annually floods mankind no matter what the date on the calendar might be.

It may well be that if one twelfth of the year is made joyous because of the abundance of those tinsels and lights which can remind us of the Christmas Spirit, four twelfths of the year might even be better.

After all, if one has seriously determined to be a disciple of the Savior Jesus the Christ, they should welcome every bit of help they can get in carrying forth His message.

Therefore, if my neighbor wants to leave his outdoor lights up all year long, I well be grateful and not label him as lazy. He can even turn them on for Valentine’s Day, the Fourth of July, his kids’ birthdays, his anniversary or just because he feels like it, if he so wishes. Then for a moment, I will be reminded of the birth and mission of my Savior.

If the department stores want to send out their ads for Black Friday with their Christmas specials the day after Halloween and then follow up with weekly reminders by every method of advertising known and yet to be known, it should cause my heart to rejoice about all the reminders which are flooding home about the birth of the King of Kings.

If the choir starts rehearsing for the Christmas program right after the ringing of the explosions of Independence Day have left our ears and if Christmas carols are heard before the last cord of hymns of Thanksgiving is sounded, I’ll reverence the wondrous messages heralding the birth of the Prince of Peace.

Therefore, as one who has resolved to add his droplets to the flood of His Eternal message, I wish you happiness and joy this time and always. I pray that living Christmas trees in August will stimulate us to a remembrance of our Saviour in the same way that artificial ones often do in December.

I pray that the colors in May and summer scenes in June and the fresh smells of April will cause your emotions to soar and your heart to respond to the needs of your earthly companions no matter whether the date is in January or the day is in March.

We all need to spend more time pondering that it isn't Christmas day which makes us different, but it is Jesus the Christ, His teaching, His life and His Atonement.

Without Christ, Christmas turns from a day of celestial contemplation into a day of telestial triviality.

Without Christ, gift giving can be changed from charitable exchanges of love to concerns of commercialization and indebtedness.

Without Christ, bright decorations turn from being beacons of light into gaudy glitter.

Without Christ, gatherings turn from reverent remembrances to riotous reunions.

Without Christ, eternal hope turns quickly into endless days of dismal darkness.

Without Christ, sustaining faith turns a journey into an unsupported abyss.

Without Christ, Christmas and all other days turn from Celestial contemplations to thoughts about Telestial trivialities.

it may well be that the key to maintaining feelings of goodness and love during the appointed Christmas season and throughout the whole year is not to be found in trying to keep the Christmas Spirit; but through finding Christ and keeping Him and His teachings in our lives all year long.

May the Spirit of our Savior, Jesus the Christ, come into our lives in such abundance this Christmas season that it will flow through us all unto our fellow travelers not only for a day or a week or and month, but at all times, is the prayer I offer in His Holy name at this blessed time of the year.


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