Merry Christmas everyone! Isn’t that the sincere wish on our lips and in our hearts at this time of year for everyone we know? We say it, we write it, we sing it. I thought I might look up the definition of the word “merry” to see just what it is I am hoping for each of you (and frankly for me too). The word “merry” is an adjective. It means cheerful, lively, bright, sunny, smiling, and lighthearted. There certainly seems to be a lot of opposition to the “merry” part of this wishful greeting. First of all there is the high stress that comes with High Holiday expectations. The pressure of decorating, gift buying, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining can indeed threaten the merry heart. And if that were not enough, being merry at Christmas time is a challenge simply because life goes on. Christmas or not the vicissitudes of life don’t seem to take a break for the holidays.
My son called me the other night and painted a picture I think is quite symbolic. His family has been struggling with the “Have a Merry Christmas If You Possibly Can” virus. After days of mopping up and sanitizing, it finally looked as though all tummies were in good repair. Sunday afternoon would be the perfect time to deliver Christmas gifts to the neighbors. My son and his wife loaded their children into the car along with multiple ribboned tins of hot chocolate.
The plan was to drive about the neighborhood and drop off a little Christmas cheer for friends old and new. They would drive, stop, get out of the mini-van, knock, sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in their finest voices, and then complete the wish with a wee gift. It all seemed so perfect! But after repeating this pattern several times, things went a little sour, I mean really sour!
Right in the middle of wishing their neighbors and their neighbor’s “kin” “good tidings” my son’s oldest daughter Sammy tapped on her daddy’s shoulder and pointed at her little brother Christopher who stood about ten feet back on the path leading up to the neighbor’s front door. Leaning over the walk, he was leaving his own special gift. So much for settled tummies! This moment of Christmas merriment concluded with apologies and a pitcher of water borrowed from the nice people. This my son used to disperse his son’s deposited lunch. Back in the car and headed for home, Chris suddenly got that look in his eye again. My son quickly grabbed him, rolled down the window, stuck the little guy’s noggin out the opening, and took care of the problem before the problem took care of the car and everyone in it—so much for spreading Merry Christmas cheer.
Some days are like that! No, let’s be honest. Every day is like that in some way or another, Christmas or not. So what is so merry about Christmas? When we wish people a merry Christmas are we hoping that the month is December is perfect, that no one throws up (figuratively speaking of course)—that nothing difficult happens and that all holiday celebrations take place without a hitch? Impossible!
Today my celebration of the birth, life, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ is merry, truly merry, no matter what is happening around me, and this is why. I am coming to know that although I live in a fallen, most imperfect world, I have been given a Savior. He is my Savior, “my Jesus,” as Nephi said. This Savior knows me. He loves me, and He wants to help me with anything that is hard for me—Anything! When I am spiritually awake and I feel His love, hear His instructions and receive His saving, transforming, gracious power in things large and small, it makes me merry. This kind of “merry” is available whether it’s December 25th or any other day of the year.
I most sincerely wish you each a very Merry Christmas. Not a perfect Christmas, mind you. Someone is going to throw-up or worse. You can count on it. Something is going to go wrong according to your plan. A truly Merry Christmas, as in cheerful, lively, bright, sunny, smiling, and lighthearted, can be had by one and by all, not because we are perfect or life is perfect, but because we have been given a Savior who loves us perfectly and we are coming to know it.
Much love to you all and a Very Merry Christmas!
By Nannette Wiggins
Posted December 24, 2014 Copyright 2011 by Nannette Wiggins. All right reserved. Making or sending copies is permitted if the page is not changed in any way and the material is not used for profit. This notice must be included on each copy made or sent.