Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the feeling of the season. I love the music, which I confess to listening to whenever I need an uplift no matter what month. I love The Savior Jesus Christ and the chance the season gives us to reflect on Him.
One of my favorite Christmas memories occurred in early April. Unusual for a Christmas memory I know, but that was the time that I was able to actually go to Bethlehem.
It is a lovely little city, and is very touristy. It was rather crowded and the line to get in to see the stable where Christ was possibly born and laid in a manger was long. But, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Like I said it was touristy and they had several shops that catered to the Christian visitors. I took the opportunity to purchase a baby blanket in one of those shops. I will tell you more about that in a bit. But, I enjoyed the city and had some sweet memories of seeing what an actual stable must have looked like at the time, a cave really.
But, the memory that sticks with me the most is the experience we had the night before. My classmates and I went to a field that overlooks the city of Bethlehem. It is called Shepherd’s Field. As a clear night fell we sang Christmas songs and listened to the Christmas story. I gazed out over the city and could just imagine a new star. In fact maybe my heart actually did see it. Whenever I hear the Christmas story or Christmas songs I find my mind and heart going back there. It is a lovely memory that words just don’t do justice for. There was not a new star that night, but there was a new light in my heart and it has stayed with me. Jesus Christ the Savior of the World is the source of that light.
Now about that baby blanket. I made the decision to give it to my parents. We have a tradition in our Church that newborns are given a blessing usually by their father’s. I gave the blanket to my parents with the express purpose that each one of their grandchildren could receive that blessing wrapped in a baby blanket from Bethlehem. I have been able to attend some but not all of my nieces and nephews blessings. But, there is a part of me that is always there. It is like they get wrapped in a special embrace from Aunt Sarah.
It’s just a blanket. But, it has been made special, made holy by the little beautiful souls it embraces.
Bethlehem is just a city. The stable was just a cave. The manger was just a manger. But, it was made holy by the little beautiful soul that it embraced that sacred holy day. Christ is the reason for all goodness. He makes places and things and all of us holy, sacred and beautiful. Let His light continue to guide you, me and all of us to His love, healing, forgiveness and life. Our gift to Him is our hearts.
Merry Christmas and God Bless