Each year on Christmas day the entire Messick family gathers at Grandma & Grandpa's house in San Clemente for treats and eats. Every year you can pretty much expect the same thing: eat food, open presents, eat food, play with presents, eat food, and go to the movies. But this year was different. A good different.
All the Brothers, Sisters, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins had arrived and were seated around the Christmas tree. But before we tore into our gifts, the patriarch of the family, Grandpa Messick, gathered everyone's attention to share some thoughts from his heart. In all my twenty-six years I've never seen my Grandfather so overcome with emotion.
With tear filled eyes he expressed his remorse for feeling sad the past few days as he talked about the current state of the economy and all those who have recently lost their jobs. He shared his sorrow for those who would have little for Christmas this year, and for those who would simply go without.
He then talked about his gratitude for rich blessings and the gift of family. He shared with us his deepest feelings of love and admiration for his family and counseled all of us, especially his grandchildren to love our parents and always stay close to our families, no matter what trials might lay ahead. He reminded us that while our parents might do dumb things sometimes, they are our family and will always love us and never let us down.
Next, he opened up the scriptures to Luke 2 and read a few passages of the Christmas story. Again he wept as he expressed his love and testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us. Fervently he counseled us to show our love and gratitude for the Savior and to remember Him always; through the good and the bad.
I have never felt such love on Christmas day as I did that very moment. My love and appreciation for my Grandpa, my family, and my Savior increased ten fold that day. I hope each of you will take time this holiday season to express love and gratitude to your family and most importantly to your Savior for all they have done for you.
This world might be a scary place right now, but I believe that if we will continue to put our faith in our Savior and stay close to our families, as my Grandfather counseled, we will surely find peace, love, and joy throughout this new year. May the blessings of this season be upon us all.