by Ernest Istook
Every year, Christmas gives us a second chance to celebrate Thanksgiving.
When we gather at Thanksgiving, there’s a spiritual focus but it centers on earthly blessings – the fruits of the harvest, the gathering with family and friends.
We repeat those at Christmas, but now we add celebration for an eternal gift – the Savior sent to atone and redeem us from our sins, even Jesus Christ.
Now we link with the prophecies of ages past and the promise of eternal life to come, as reflected in the Christ Child and the miraculous story of His birth.
No other holiday in America has acquired the special warmth, love, and traditions of Christmas.
But no Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen, twinkling lights or decorated trees could ever have created the sense of wonder that surrounds this holiday.
None of these can match the visible expression of God’s love, brought to us by the innocence of a child.