Saturday, January 3, 2009

Reflections on Christmas

I know I'm a tad late here, but, given the season, I thought I'd share two brief reflections on the meaning of Christmas . . .

From a letter to her son, Peter, dated December 2, 1996

As the years have gone by, Christmas has taken on new and deeper meanings. At this stage, of course, the significance of the Savior’s birth and atonement grows in me. I’m getting older. It means more and more as our family grows, as my love grows for your father and my own parents and for you children, and as I see the lives and personalities of my children unfold. For me, the most enduring part of Christmas as we celebrate it is in the sacred carols. They carry the joy and awe of his birth. I also cherish the sweet feelings I have toward all the family as I try to think of things that would delight each one---and the pain that accompanies knowing I can’t give every delight. Mixed into that is the memory of Christmases past--mostly the feeling of gathering near the tree with loved ones, playing games, enjoying gifts, listening to sweet music, enjoying life together.

From a journal entry dated “January 1997”

To me this whole process is the greatest evidence for eternal life: Why the journey--the lives of struggle and learning, always arriving at wisdom after the experience--coming to know how to run the plays when the game has ended and often after we’ve lost the game??? It only makes sense if there is more. There is no evidence in nature of futility. Everything has function and purpose. Should our hard-won understanding be wasted when our bodies decay? No! This has to be just what we are taught it is: preparation for more and more and more. That’s what Christmas means to me. I believe the story. It’s far crazier than a Star Wars fantasy, but I believe it.

1 comment:

stephschmidt said...

I'm one of the Stoddart clan, and I knew your mom from (what seems like) forever ago! I have so many happy memories spent in your home on Wild Filly Court. I found this blog through Jennie, and am so happy that I did! Thank you for creating this blog; I love reading about your incredible mother!