Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Love

The "W" in Christmas
A Christmas Story
by Candy Chand

"Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.
I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's

 "Winter Pageant."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to at tend that evening were welcome to come then.

Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise. So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor, and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes, and good cheer.

So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snow caps upon their heads.

Those in the front row - center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her - a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:
Christ was
And, We believe, He still is.
The Temple of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) in Salt Lake City, Utah
(I added in the photos)


Deanna said...

Oh Bonnie, I just read this post to my husband and we were so quiet after I read it that we could hear a siren going off in the distance. I love it when a simple message that speaks volumes, can silence my ever lovin' loud husband.

Bonnie, come by my blog when you get a chance. I have an award for you.

Lot's of love,
Deanna :)

Stephen Kent Ehat said...

Hmmm. Don't get me wrong, but I do think it is rather amazing that in a beautiful posting about Christmas you make mention of your son, "Nicholas." Hmmm. Is there something about your beautiful family that you've been hiding from us?

Bonnie said...

Stephen, thank you! I realized I had not given attribution to the author the first time or quoted it as I should have when I posted this in 2008. I now have. Don't tell Candy, K?

Sister Susie said...

It's heart warming to know some still allow what the message of Christmas is truly about. Our school system has just about done away with it all other than when we had our Holiday walk, we still had children and parents that would say Merry Christmas rather than Happy Holiday (which really is Holy Day unbeknowing to them!)
Merry Christmas to you and yours,