Christmas Presence: Including Christ

Christmas Presence: Including Christ December 20, 2023

Child finds lessons of Christmas presence in Christmas tree

Recently we joined one of our granddaughters, who was lying on her back with her head under the branches of our family Christmas tree. She had removed the Christmas presents that were under the tree to make room for us to join her. Her soft voice invited us, “Come and see what I  found under your Christmas tree.” Lying on our backs as she was, in the glow of evergreen and light, we saw that she was reaching her hand toward a brilliantly reflective red ornament and then withdrawing her hand slowly. This simple gesture shared her viewpoint, leading to an  understanding of Christmas presence which has affected all of our lives.

 “Look Grandpa! When I put my hands close to the light, my hands grow, but when I move them away, they become small again!” We imitated her movement, and we could see from her perspective. In that Christmas memory moment, we received revelation by seeing as she saw.

To our shared Christmas presence, we added our perspective. When we move close to the light of Christmas, which is Christ’s light, our hands of service and charity are magnified. Christmas means “Christ’s mass” (“mass” from the Latin representing “go forth”).1 When we withdraw from our loving Savior’s light (as we were drawing back our literal hands), our ability to serve and touch others’ lives is diminished.

Christ’s Guiding Light and Example

Jesus always makes more of our talents and service when we come unto Him and reach for His guiding light. The blessings that flow as we move our lives and our service closer to the light of Christ’s perfect example are abundant and miraculous. His examples become part of our Christmas presence.

 In a supreme example, Christ fed the five thousand from meager provisions of two fishes and five loaves. Undaunted, He took the provisions and “blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.” Jesus multiplied the fish and bread, and “all did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full” (Matthew 14: 15-21).

As we bring Christ into our family’s Christmas presence, we can transform our limited vision and provisions beyond the finite perspective. If we will bring our hearts to Christ, He will open our minds to the glorious possibilities of eternity.

Christmas Presence Offered

 To experience our Savior’s miraculous vision of our potential and His desire to magnify our abilities to serve, we must come to Him and reach for His light—for ourselves and for others who share our Christmas presence.

When we crawled under our Christmas tree to join our Granddaughter, she had already set aside the worldly aspect of our Christmas celebration by removing the presents. There was nothing wrong with having presents under the tree, but in placing them to the side, she made room for a more important presence.

With our beloved granddaughter, we took time in our Christmas presence to reach for the real light of Christmas, which we were better able to see and understand. Being present in the moment and reaching for light together filled our hearts with new understanding and love.

Our granddaughter looked back and forth at us under the tree and smiled: “I love you Meema and Grandpa!” This Christmas  presence, provided a well-made memory and added love for one another to our Christmas celebration.

Presence at Christ’s Birth

The scriptures are filled with examples of what we might call Christmas presence. On the night of His birth, angels sang before the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

One angel told the shepherds specifically, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2: 8-11). The angel told them where to go to reach His presence, and they went.

When Jesus was presented in the Temple, Simeon was prompted by the Spirit to be at the Lord’s House. He was able to hold the Savior in his arms and prophesy of His life and mission. Anna, who lived in the temple serving, was prompted to be present and give her testimony  (Luke 2: 25-38).

Peace, Hope and Love in His Light

We love that in the beloved tale A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens wrote of the magical power of Christmas presence, in which  individuals came together with loftier thoughts and pursuits. Scrooge’s nephew Fred explained:

I have always thought of Christmas time as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.

A Christmas Carol is available online.2

May we be ever more careful to seize opportunities to treasure Christmas presence with our loved ones. The divine, transforming influence of the Christmas season is tangible and powerful. If necessary, we can choose to allow it to unite our families and even to mend broken family relationships. In choosing Christmas presence, we choose to share love and serve our fellow man, which will mean much more to our loved ones than our Christmas presents ever could.

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