I have been having a hard time getting into the spirit of Christmas this year, not really knowing why. I noticed it first when everyone was so excited to decorate this year. It seemed like everyone I knew either struggled not to, or did put up their tree and/or decorations before Thanksgiving. One family in my neighborhood had theirs up the day after Halloween! I've been excited for the Christmas season, but haven't felt like rushing into it. And now it's nearly upon me, and I'm still feeling a bit Scrooge-y.
Tonight I had a thought: maybe it's just really hard to top last year. I don't think last year was a particularly amazing Christmas, really the only difference was Max. See, he was so little, still a newborn at Christmas last year, and having a newborn forces you to sit down and have lots of little quiet moments (unfortunately a lot of them in the middle of the night, but still . . . ). Those quiet moments give you an opportunity to think, and even if all you do is stare at the lights on the Christmas tree until your eyes cross, somehow the peace of all that sitting still really helps you feel the Spirit more than all the hustle and bustle of normal Christmasy things.
And of course, there is nothing to help you identify with the Christmas story more than holding a little infant in your arms and imagining him, and you, sitting in a barn, surrounded by stinky animals. I am so grateful for Mary and her sacrifice, and I'm so grateful for my Savior.
I hope this year I can, somehow, find some quiet moments to just sit and look at the lights on the tree and think of the Light of the World. And I hope for that for all of you, too.