or Three Kings’ Day, or whatever you’d like to call it, this end of the Christmas season. I know many people like to be done with Christmas as soon after December 25 as possible. The decorations which have been out since Thanksgiving are stored away, the tree is put out on the curb, and Christmas is cleared away for another year, sometimes as early as the afternoon of the 25th. And I really hate it! I hate the holiday creep and especially this year, how so many stores were open for Christmas sales on Thanksgiving itself.
Every year I try to push more in the opposite direction. We postpone putting up a tree and many decorations and try to make December 25 just the beginning of the Christmas season, rather than the end. There’s still so much more I could do in that direction though. I feel like I’m searching for some new traditions. We have at least begun to celebrate Advent in our own family and have loved how it helps us prepare for and anticipate the spiritual significance of Christ’s coming.
This year as we set out our nativity, we held the wise men back for a journey across the house. Unfortunately they didn’t get far before one of their heads broke off and they had to take an extended break on my dresser for way too long, but they finally joined baby Jesus in the nativity scene this week.
I really enjoyed an article in the December 2011 Ensign about what we can learn from the various figures in the Christmas story. I especially like this excerpt and it seems appropriate to share today:
There is much we can learn from the Wise Men. Like them, we should study the scriptures and know the signs to watch for as we all prepare the earth for the Savior’s Second Coming. Then, as we search and ponder the scriptures, we will more fully desire to seek the Lord every day of our lives and, as a gift to Him, give up our selfishness, pride, and rebelliousness. When personal revelation comes to alter the plans we have made, we can obey, having faith and trust that God knows what is best for us. And ultimately, through lives of true discipleship, we must fall down and worship the Savior in humility and love.
Elder Patrick Kearon, “Come, Let Us Adore Him,” Ensign, Dec. 2011
Much to emulate there as we enter this new year.