“If You’re Warm, You’re Getting Closer”


“If You’re Warm, You’re Getting Closer”

“I’m bored,” Danny said as Mom put a batch of cinnamon rolls into the oven. “What are we going to do now?”

Before Mom could answer, Elizabeth asked, “Mom, when will Christmas be here? I want to open my presents.”

Mom sighed as she shut the oven door and set the timer. “There’s a lot we can do, Danny. And Elizabeth, there’s much, much more to Christmas than opening presents.” Mom sat down. “Let’s see—how about a game?”

The children nodded their heads enthusiastically.

“Elizabeth, please bring the Baby Jesus from the Nativity set in the family room.”

Elizabeth ran into the family room and quickly returned with the Baby Jesus.

“Now, Danny, close your eyes while Elizabeth hides the Baby Jesus. She’ll tell you when you can open them. Then you will look for Him. If you’re far away, she’ll say you’re cold or colder. But if you’re getting closer to the hiding place, she’ll say you’re warm or warmer. Do you understand?”

When Danny nodded, Mom said, “All right, close your eyes.”

Danny covered his eyes with his hands. Elizabeth quickly put the Baby Jesus on the piano. She looked at Mom and silently mouthed, “Is that OK?”

Mom smiled and nodded.

Elizabeth moved next to Mom. “You can open your eyes now, Danny.”

Danny uncovered his eyes and took several steps toward the couch.

“You’re cold,” Elizabeth said.

“Colder,” Danny heard as he looked under the table. “Colder. Oh, Danny, you’re as cold as you can get over there by the fireplace!” declared Elizabeth.

Danny slumped his shoulders in frustration and said, “I don’t like this game.”

“Don’t give up,” urged Mom. “Now that you know where the Baby Jesus isn’t, you should have a better idea about where He is.

Danny thought for a minute, then turned around.

Elizabeth cried out, “Hooray! You’re getting warmer.”

Then, instead of looking down, Danny looked up at the piano. He smiled and stood tall as he walked toward the piano.

“Warm, warmer, warmest!” cheered Elizabeth as Danny reached out his hand and picked up the Baby Jesus.

“Danny wins the game!” Mom announced.

Danny had a great big grin on his face, and so did Elizabeth. Mom gathered them both in her arms and explained, “You see, the real purpose of Christmas is like our little game. It’s to try to get closer to Jesus. When we do, we feel warm. If you get that good, warm feeling, the Spirit is telling you you’re doing the kinds of things that make Jesus happy.”

Bzzzz!

“The cinnamon rolls are done,” shouted Elizabeth and Danny.

“Why don’t you two put on your coats while I frost the rolls? Then you can deliver some to Mrs. Simms while they’re still hot,” Mom said.

After delivering the rolls, Elizabeth and Danny rushed into the house. “Mom! Mom! Mrs. Simms was so happy to get the rolls she had tears in her eyes!” reported Danny.

“I think Jesus liked us giving her the rolls, because I feel warm inside,” said Elizabeth. “And if you’re warm, you’re getting closer.”

[illustration] Illustrated by Susan Curtis