Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Putting Christ in Christmas

Christmas 1980 I was 18 years old and dating Wayne while he prepared to go on his mission that January.  I remember him coming to my house Christmas morning and telling me about an amazing, spiritual Christmas experience that his family had.  I asked his sister, Sandy, to write it down to share, since she knew what was going on  on both sides of the Christmas door.

The Christmas I Remember Best 
Sandy Welch Bentley

It was December of 1980. Clark and I had been married for 4 months. We were making plans for our Christmas. Clark was the youngest in his family and I still had 7 siblings at home. We knew that we wanted to spend Christmas morning with my family to enjoy watching the kids open their gifts.
I loved watching my younger siblings open their gifts. I loved the excitement on their faces when they got something they had been hoping for. I also knew that sometimes we get so caught up in the worldly aspect of Christms that we forgot to really celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. I really wanted the younger members of my family to really think about the Savior on the day we celebrate his birth.
We came up with a plan to help the kids really appreciate the Savior. This is what happened.
We woke up early on Christmas morning and went over to Mom and Dad Welch’s house. There was always a tradition in our family that we get up and eat breakfast before we go into the Living Room to see what Santa had given us. The door to the Living Room was always shut and we knew we were not supposed to peak in!
Jane and Steve came over with Thomas. When we were all there, we ate breakfast and then we lined up to open the door to start opening our gifts.
As the sliding door was opened, we could feel the excitement and anticipation! The kids all rushed in and a silence came over the room. There were no stockings filled with goodies on the couch, no gifts under the tree. The only thing that was under the tree was a picture of Christ with this sign above it: “What are you giving Christ for Christmas?”
We all sat down and talked about Christ and what he had done for us. We talked about Christmas being a time to celebrate his birth. All of us had an opportunity to tell of things that we could “give” to Christ for his birthday. We had a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.
I remember that none of the kids were upset. It’s hard to be disappointed when there is a picture of the Savior under the tree.
We did find a note from Santa telling us that we needed to remember the true meaning of Christmas and explaining to us that he had left our gifts under the tree at Clark and Sandy’s house.

It took a lot of "guts" for Wayne's parents to do this...but if you ask any of the siblings their favorite Christmas...it is always this story.

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