It's December 18th; do you know where your Christmas presents are?
I usually get into the Holiday spirit pretty well. Christmas is my favorite time of year, with all the sights, sounds, smells, laughter, music and general good cheer everywhere you go.
But this year, I haven't noticed much of a change between December and the other 11 months of the year. Maybe it's because I have only bought two presents less than a week before the Big Day. Or maybe it's because I've finally ventured out into "the real world," where I'm not constantly around family and friends who remind me that this time of year is special, one that should be cherished. Or maybe it's simply because I've been working too much; after all, this is the first year of post-education life, and I'm finally in a 40-hour/week occupation.
But that shouldn't be an excuse.
The Christmas season is a time of caring for the well-being of your fellow man. It is a time when that pesky driver that just cut you off, or the crippled, begging homeless man on the street corner deserve the benefit of the doubt. After all, it's Christmas. And isn't the season supposed to make us more Christ-like?
But how should that be any different from the rest of the year? Here I am, complaining that the Holiday season has felt like any other season before. And is that such a bad thing? Only in one way: only if it means I'm not focusing my thoughts and efforts on Christ and building His kingdom, caring for my Father's children, right now.
The truth is, maybe Christmas really should feel like every other time of the year. Maybe there really shouldn't be a difference between "the Holidays" and "the normal days." Because, as we are reminded every Sunday, we are to stand as witnesses of God in all times, and in all places. And we should strive to carry (and gift) His spirit always; not just sometimes, or the week of Dec. 25; always.
Regardless, Christmas is our time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a time to cheer up the world with the "good news" of His birth, life and resurrection. The Holiday spirit is one of sharing the Gospel.
Let's just hope it's not the only time we strive to do so.
NEW MEDIA OF THE WEEK:
I'm really excited about this one; the Church's YouTube channel, "Mormon Messages" released a video of President Monson (one of his first on the channel, I believe) reminding us of the true reason for the season.
And if that doesn't move you and fill you with all sorts of holiday cheer, there's always this one, courtesy of Conan and the gang at"The Tonight Show."