When my grandpa was first diagnosed with cancer, it was kind of surreal for me. At first he seemed all right, but as his condition worsened, I could tell the pain was getting to him. It hurt me to think about what he was going through.
My family decided to spend Christmas with him and my grandmother. I knew it would be different from having Christmas in our own home, but I could never have guessed how special it would be for me.
When we arrived at my grandparents’ home after a long drive, we were greeted by a beautifully decorated house that instantly put us in the Christmas spirit. We had a big dinner together and excitedly admired the festive decorations my grandmother had put up. After socializing and enjoying one another’s company, my family returned to our hotel to prepare for the big day.
The next morning was Christmas. We were all excited, but we didn’t want to show up at my grandparents’ house too early. We thought that Grandpa would be tired from the night before and would want to sleep in. But when we finally arrived, my grandmother said, “Where have you been? Grandpa has been up for hours waiting for you.” That’s when I knew this Christmas was going to be the best one I’d ever had. My grandpa was so excited for everybody, and his Christmas cheer was contagious.
That Christmas spent with my grandparents taught me something important: Christmas isn’t about presents; Christmas is about caring enough for others to want to make their day special, without thinking about what’s in it for you.
But even more, Christmas is a wonderful time of year that reminds us to reflect on the love the Savior has for each one of us. I believe that when we are judged and are found worthy, it will be like Christmas—our Father’s eyes will light up, He will smile warmly, and He will tell us the best gift we have given Him is the way we tried to live like His Son.
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What experiences have brought special meaning to Christmas? Write them in your journal and share them with your family, and consider sending them to the New Era at newera.lds.org (click “Submit Material”).