Sunday, December 16, 2012
What My Christmastime Baby Taught Me
I didn’t want a Christmastime baby. Silly reasons like birthdays being overshadowed by Christmas. But only after I had a Christmas baby (little Noelle, born nine days before Christmas last year) did I realize how much more special it would make her birthday. And how significant the event would be in my life and my understanding of Christ’s birth.
Noelle is my second baby, so I’d been through labor and birth before and joined the sympathy club of women throughout the world and time who have done the same. But after giving birth to a child in my home with nothing but my own limited abilities, my family, and my prayers to God to get me through did I really think about what Mary went through to bring the Christ child into the world.
Giving birth on a dark winter’s night with the stockings hanging nearby and the lights of the Christmas tree reflecting off the Nativity, made me think of another little baby born so long ago who grew to be the Savior of the world. He began life as a helpless baby like you and me and my little one, Noelle. Yet he went on to save us all. His atonement made it possible for us all to repent and be forgiven, and made it so he knew and understood all the pain and anguish of the world—including the pain I went through to bring Noelle into the world. His death and resurrection made it possible for us all to live again. And for us to see loved ones who have died. Noelle will one day know her Papa Newman who died before she was born and her Great-Grandpa Newman who died this Christmas season.
I hope that as she grows older Noelle will know how special it is to celebrate her birthday at Christmastime, that she gets to share her birthday with the time that we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday. That while presents for her birthday and Christmas are fun, her birthday is a really a celebration of her and Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birth and life. We named her Noelle as a reminder and a way to celebrate the time and circumstances of her birth. So happy first birthday, Noelle! Today we celebrate you. Thank you for coming to our family when you did and giving me such a beautiful lesson in the reason for Christmas in the first few days of your life. I will never be able to forget Christ at Christmas because your birth will ever be my reminder.