Thursday, December 29, 2016

Light of the World

One of my most favorite days of the year is Christmas Eve.   I just love our traditions on that day...we clean our house really well (okay that part I don't love...but it is nice going into the holiday with a clean home) and finish any preparations for Christmas.  Then in the evening, we read Luke 2 to remember our Savior's birth.  The girls open 1 gift (pajamas) and we make luminaries.  We cut Christmas shapes into paper bags and add candles and then place them along our sidewalk.  It is a great reminder/symbol of whose birth we celebrate...Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.  On Facebook that evening, I posted photos of our luminaries with these words:  "The night around us may be dark, but because of the Babe born in Bethlehem, our path is lit. 'The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  the Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? --Psalm 27:1'"  I know these words to be true.  Here are a few other verses that illustrate that Christ is the light of the world.  
John 8: 12  "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:  he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life."
Alma 38:9  "And now, my son, I have you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ.  Behold, he is the life and the light of the world.  Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness."
Psalm 119: 105  "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

The night was dark but these luminaries brought light to our pathway...just as this world seems to become increasingly dark, but Christ brings light to our lives and to our paths.  If we follow Him, there is light and life and hope and love and peace.  

 The luminaries felt especially meaningful to me this year because the Church's Christmas message/initiative this year was #LighttheWorld and we were encouraged to do something to serve others each day in December.  Specific challenges were issued each day to live/act in a way that imitates the Savior.  We participated in some of the challenges and did do some type of service most days and it was a blessing in our lives as we did that.

Don't eat us!

 After our traditions at home, we head to Alfredo's aunt and uncle's home where the girls play with cousins and we visit.  Gabby took a long nap this year in preparation for the long night ahead.  Smart girl!   Then at midnight, we eat a big, delicious dinner.  After dinner, we open gifts from Alfredo's aunts, uncles and cousins and they open gifts from us/each other.  We don't get home until about 2-3 A.M. but it is a wonderful night.

I didn't take a lot of pictures after we arrived at Alfredo's family but it was a wonderful evening.  So thankful for our many blessings and especially for our Savior!!