Christmas is a time of joy and celebration! A time we remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We tend to center our holiday traditions around family and friends, creating memories that last a lifetime; even generations. As the years go by, we look forward to the next to carry on these traditions maintaining in our lives a sense of familiarity and security that become a part of our literal identity as both individuals and families. Well, that's certainly the expectation of Christmas, isn't it?

And for many, it is such an experience of Christmas which is why it is considered the most wonderful time of year, and thought upon with the fondest and tenderest of memories. And it is precisely for these very reasons that when life's road become difficult and we find ourselves weary from the pains of mortality, that suddenly this once happy time of year can, for some, temporarily, be viewed with sadness and even dread. 

Yes, mortality naturally produces many a weary and wounded traveler along its bumpy road of life, leaving by the wayside many who are in need of care, particularly at Christmas when tender feelings of family are so sensitive and in need of dressing. One can't help but think of President Thomas S. Monson and his ever thoughtful and loving outreach to the widows under his life-long care. Truly Christmastime is the most difficult for those who have experienced the death of a loved one.

But life also has other challenges, both physical and/or emotional, that can weary the mortal traveler, temporarily disabling our ability to, on our own, completely enjoy this time of year without the help of each other. 

And so, as disciples of Jesus Christ, perhaps even a bit of a wounded warrior ourselves, we are asked to look around and perceive who else might look a bit weary and in need care. 

Because, Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. A time to remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ -- and covenants made. And we need to make sure that our family and friends -- no matter what pains they have suffered, or are suffering along their weary road of mortality -- will feel His love and Spirit to buoy them up along their way.

I think these words, part of the First Presidency Christmas message, sum it up perfectly:

The spirit of Christmas creates in our hearts a desire to give joy to others and to serve them. At this time of year we feel a spirit of giving and of gratitude for what we have been given. The celebration of Christmas helps us keep our promise to always remember the Savior and His gifts to us and, in turn, to serve others.
Each act of kindness to anyone becomes a kindness to the Savior because He loves all of Heavenly Father’s children. And because that brings joy to Him, it also brings joy to His Father, to whom we owe thanks beyond measure.

I have found that when we reach out to lift those who are weary, that we discover our own need to be lifted. It is a beautiful exchange made perfect through Jesus Christ and the gift of His Atonement. It is what Christmas is truly all about, and in so doing, will help us to better understand the true Spirit of Christmas.


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