Take a few minutes to reflect on your childhood, and think about what Christmas meant to you then, and what it means to you today.

I’m sure you can recall your favorite gift, or a meaningful memory. I remember the morning Santa left a Suzie Smart doll under the tree. She was all decked out in a white button down blouse and plaid skirt, and came complete with her own school desk and chalkboard. She was blond and brilliant.

I still remember her whole vocabulary, as if she were sitting in front of me this very minute, her little tiny recorded voice playing with the push of a button. “Hi! My name is Suzie Smart. What’s your name?” “I can spell…”, “I can do arithmetic…” Never did she have to recalculate. I hope Siri will think about that one for a moment.

Do you have your favorite memory in the front of your mind now? Okay, then let’s think about how you were feeling. I hope it was warm and fuzzy — kind of like hugging your favorite teddy bear or big white dog.

For me, it’s not the gifts I remember as much as it is my mom. She truly loved Christmas.
She was the biggest kid in our house, as she could barely wait for everyone to open gifts. I never really understood it until after I had my own children. Her excitement wasn’t in opening the gifts, it was in giving them, and seeing our delight as we opened something she knew we would never have expected.

Now, think about the gift that we still can’t truly comprehend. The gift of a child, born in a manger. And his ultimate mission… to give us everlasting life. I think our Holy Father must truly delight when we are finally able to open our hearts and receive this ultimate gift that He has promised.

I wish each of you a joyous Christmas season… one that will not only fill you with warmth and memories for this season, but one that warms your soul for years to come.