The Glow Within
As Christmas Eve drew nearer, my missionary companion and I seemed in a world apart. I was not looking forward to Christmas. I was afraid that I would be homesick—my family was so far away.
Around us, busy people thronged the streets, buying gifts and greeting friends. Each home we approached, no matter how humble, opened to festive music, shining lights, and the scent of pine. Ward members welcomed students home for the holidays and packed boxes to send away.
Our rooms, however, were cool and quiet. We had no cards to send and only a few simple gifts to wrap. Our Christmas music consisted of a few familiar hymns sung or hummed as we walked home each night. And as families everywhere gathered together, my companion and I had only each other and the gospel to cheer us.
And yet, on Christmas morning, I discovered I was neither alone nor lonely. As we sat in a very poor home and taught a man about eternal progression, the glow within me was much brighter than any decoration. My heart was filled as the Spirit bore witness to me that the greatest Christmas gift was Christ and the opportunity to become like him. His birth and life had never meant as much to me as they did on that snowy Christmas day. , Fargo, North Dakota
Where Is Santa?
Almost immediately after Christmas a few years ago, as we were busily taking down the tree and putting things away, my two-year-old daughter asked, “Mommy, where’s Santa?”
“At the North Pole, I guess,” I hurriedly answered.
But the question came again. “Where’s Santa?”
Again and again she asked the same question, even months later. I finally realized that in her own way, my daughter knew that Santa was only a symbol. She was asking, in the only way she knew how, where the Christmas spirit had gone and why it was no longer in our home.
Perhaps if we had emphasized the Christ in Christmas more than we did, my daughter would have asked, “Where is Jesus?” Then I might have understood more easily that his attributes of love and kindness, displayed as we celebrated his birth, had been almost forgotten in the months that followed. Indeed, I found that as soon as I consciously began showing more patience and affection, my daughter’s question stopped.
Now, every year I ask myself, “Where is Santa? Where is Christ?” Hopefully, the answer is “He’s here.” , Provo, Utah