Christmas as a Christian

A few weeks ago I was shopping with my friend Cindy.  She is the mother of Eli’s best buddy Kayden, and she and her husband are both first generation Londoners.  By that I mean, her parents and her husband’s parents are all Vietnam-born Chinese.  They came to the UK during the Vietnam war and Cindy and Mike and their siblings were all born here. 

Cindy and I were chatting about Christmas, and she mentioned that she likes to work on Christmas Day for the financial perks it offers.  I expressed pity that she would have to work on Christmas and she pointed out that they aren’t Christians.  I asked her if the claimed a religion and she said not really, but if they did it would be Buddhism and ancestor worship.  (Both things I feel I can personally appreciate and relate to.)   She said they celebrate Christmas for its secular traditions and fun.  They get a Christmas tree and gifts and Christmas jumpers and Christmas crackers.  Then she made an off-hand comment about how funny it is that Christmas has become so much about receiving gifts, and how did that relate to the birth of the Savior exactly?  She wasn’t being snarky, just asking. 

Cindy and Mike are fantastic friends.  They are all the things we strive to be- generous, friendly and kind.  I’m so grateful for them.  And I’m so grateful that my own parents taught me about the value of other individuals and their varying beliefs.  My dad gave me a quote a few years ago that says  

“We find comfort among those who agree with us and growth among those who don’t.” (Frank Clark.) 

I grew up in Idaho, surrounded by members of my own faith, and then Christians beyond that.  Living here in London, in the particular part of the city we live, Christianity is significantly less popular.  There are Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, and Muslims at my children’s school.  This has really caused a lot of reflection on my part about what it means for me to believe in Christ.  As I’ve thought about it and I’ve thought about what the life of Christ has meant to my life, I have realized that being a Christian is as much a part of me as my Hall skin tone and my DeSavigny laugh.  I can’t imagine a world without Jesus Christ.  

I am so grateful for my testimony of the Savior of the world.  I am grateful for His example, His Atonement and His grace.  

“Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.” – 2 Corinthians 9:15

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