Monday, December 22, 2014

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

With Christmas being this week, I've had a lot of different thoughts going through my head. Most of them have had to do with the fact that it doesn't really feel like Christmas when you are away from family in a place that snows, but still has no snow.

Being in different places, even just Utah, you get to see the different cultures of Christmas. Everybody celebrates it a little bit differently. The Dumas family for instance decorates their home but just adding bows and hats to their normal decorations. Brother Dumas used to be a big hunter, so their normal decorations happen to be a bunch of different dead/stuffed animal carcasses. This makes it Sister Dumas' favorite time of year, because it's the only time she's even a little okay with having the animals in the house.
These animals are getting pretty festive for the holiday season. What can we do to get a little more into the holiday spirit?

Christmas lights are going up everywhere, and there's an added number of lights that are a little bit different this year. I'm told they're LED lights, but I don't know anything about lights and I won't pretend to, but maybe you know what ones I am talking about. They're very colorful and the colors themselves are bright, but he don't shed light on anything. This has given me something to think about as we knock doors at night in the cold. There are two different kinds of lights in general: the normal kind that are bright and light up the whole house, and this newer kind, that are very pretty but the house still looks dark when you look at it. 

The first kind is just your average strand of Christmas lights. You look at them and they're nothing special, just another light, like the thousands you've seen before. Their glow brightens up the whole house and just looking at them you are almost filled with the warmth that surrounds thoughts of Christmas: memories of past Christmases, time with family and loved ones, traditions, comfort, happiness. They may be ordinary, but with them come feelings of love and joy.

Now let's think of the second type of lights: unique, interesting, new. You look at them and you're eyes naturally pass by. But then you look back because you realize those lights weren't what you were expecting. They're more exciting than the average lights; you realize you've been looking at the lights for a couple minutes, kind of struck with the strange beauty of the different colored lights. But then you look around the lights and realize that while they themselves are bright, they light up nothing around them. The yard is still dark and cold, and the house lacks the Christmas magic that comes with your average Christmas lights. 

So, what does that mean for us? Both of these lights are bright and beautiful, but only one of them shares the beauty they possess and makes everything around them beautiful as well. the other selfishly hoards its beauty and shares nothing with its surroundings. We are all like these Christmas lights. We have unique traits, talents and our own inner beauty. And we each have a choice. We can either share, making the world around us a more beautiful, happy, and cheerful almost magical place, or we can keep our talents to ourselves, using them to bless only ourselves and no one around us.

Jesus Christ would have us share those talents with others.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14–16.)

This Christmas season, let your light shine. Recognize your own worth and your individual talents. God has blessed you with many. You are magnificent, you were created by a loving God who cannot make mistakes. Find ways to share your talents with others and as a gift to the world, make it a better, brighter place.

Merry Christmas!

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