Commenting on the pressure and anxiety often felt by those who focus on the temporal side of the Christmas season, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency said, “We have in our minds a picture of how everything should be—the perfect tree, the perfect lights, the perfect gifts, and the perfect family events. … [But] sooner or later, something unpleasant occurs … and the picture-perfect Christmas we had imagined, the magic we had intended to create, shatters around us.”
However, if we focus our hearts and minds on the true spirit of Christmas, President Uchtdorf said, “we will recognize wonderful things happening around us.”
See Christmas for What It Truly Is
He continued, “It is usually something small—we read a verse of scripture, we hear a sacred carol and really listen to its words, or we witness a sincere expression of love. In one way or another, the Spirit touches our hearts, and we see that Christmas, in its essence, is much more sturdy and enduring than the many minor things of life [that] we too often use to adorn it.
“We realize in these precious moments what we feel and know in our heart—that Christmas is about the Christ.”
What We Can Give
President Uchtdorf said that we, “like the Wise Men of old, should seek the Christ and lay before Him the most precious of gifts: a broken heart and a contrite spirit. We should offer Him our love. We should give Him our willingness to take upon ourselves His name and walk in the path of discipleship. We should promise to remember Him always, to emulate His example, and to go about doing good.”
We cannot offer perfection, and the Savior does not expect it, President Uchtdorf said. “But He does require that we bring as gifts our best efforts to move ourselves, one foot in front of the other, walking in the ways He has prepared and taught.”
The Savior’s Gifts to Us
“The Savior’s gifts to us are breathtaking,” President Uchtdorf said. He explained that through the Atonement, the Savior offers us immortality, forgiveness, and eternal life.
Though some of Christ’s gifts to us will be given only when our time on earth ends, President Uchtdorf emphasized the many gifts that the Savior gives every day. “He promises to be with us, to come to us when we need comfort, to lift us when we stumble, to carry us if need be, to cry, laugh, mourn, and rejoice with us. Every day He offers to take us by the hand and help transform ordinary life into extraordinary spiritual experiences.”
Christ the King Has Come
President Uchtdorf concluded, “Of course, we do not need a Christmas holiday or Christmas traditions to remember Jesus Christ, the Savior. … May each Christmas season remind us to lift up our voices and fill our hearts with joy and gratitude that Christ the King has come! Christ lives! He is real. He is our Redeemer at Christmas and always.”