Growing up, Christmas began the day after Thanksgiving, when we would drive into a certain part of
That tradition faded with time as we kids grew older and we moved across country, but this year, I’m renewing the early beginning to Christmas. It’s my second winter here at school (across the country once again) and Christmas started even before Thanksgiving. The middle of October brought the first snow to Rexburg, and ever since then, I’ve brightened my corner of the apartment with the sounds of Christmas music. It makes me think a lot about home since so much of it is country – greats like
It makes me think about the kinds of traditions I’ll have with my own family someday. The Christmas tree will come sooner rather than later, certainly; music will be in my house year-round, but particularly after Thanksgiving; while I don’t plan on doing a whole ton of baking, gingerbread houses are delightful, and I’ll make things often enough that my children will love the smell of cinnamon. Probably baking apples, too.
However, there is one tradition I’ve started this year that will be more difficult to create. In my quest this year to be closer to my Savior, I have found that as the Christmas season gets underway, my testimony for Him grows. This year, I hope Christmas is about Jesus Christ, that I can grow more in awe of all that His birth – and death – implies. I like that Thanksgiving starts the “holiday season,” because what more do we have to be grateful for than the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world and our individual souls?
In choir, we are singing a song called “Alleluia, Amen.” The entire text of the song consists of these two words (and mind you, “amen” is only sung once, almost at the very end.) I don’t mind though; we talked in class about the literal meaning of alleluia, and the implications of praise are truly what my soul cries out. I hope that I can praise my Lord and Redeemer as sincerely all year round. I hope that this season, and the seasons to come, I can more fully love Jesus Christ, and understand ever more how dearly, how wisely, how perfectly He loves me.