Imagining Jesus

How many families will recreate the Nativity in their living rooms on Christmas Eve? Impossible to even guess. Some will use baby dolls or teddy bears for Jesus; others will use real babies. Many wannabe angels will be cloaked in sheets and crowned with tinsel halos. Shepherds will drape a towel over their heads, secured with one of Dad’s ties. The wisemen might wear aluminum crowns and bathrobes. The children will likely get impatient and giggly. The mother might get frustrated, though she’ll try to hide it. The father (it was always Dad in my family) will read the Christmas story regardless–all the way to “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

We can only imagine what Mary pondered, but with these visible reminders of the Christ’s birth, our imagination grows. The tinsel, the bathrobes, the doll are merely emblems to remind us of a glorious night when a manger held the Son of God.

In my husband’s family, my humble brother-in-law was actually willing to wear his wife’s temple dress when he pretended to be an angel. Since then, his wife has died, and is buried in that dress–which is no longer a symbol of heavenly messengers, but of who she was as a Latter-day Saint, and of how faith informed not only her life but her death. Everything she wore in her coffin she had also worn in the temple, when she imagined entering God’s presence.

Read the rest of this story at
Comments and feedback can be sent to