Growing up, my parents worked a lot. They ran a convenience store together and would often switch shifts throughout the day working from 7 in the morning to 10 or 11 at night seven days a week. The only times we got to spend time together as a family were the occasional long weekends and Christmas.
I never realized just how much they sacrificed to give a good life for us and my heart aches when I think about how often I took them for granted. I could've definitely had more gratitude for their hard work and the example they set for my sister and me.
My dad passed away without ever having a chance to become a grandfather, which I know he really wanted to be. I had it all set up too on how we would announce it. We would take him to A&W and order him a grandpa burger - you know, like those cheesy commercials from the early 2000's? My mom always thought that was a terrible idea and would be so embarrassed whenever I would bring it up (good thing you're a vegetarian, Mom! We need another idea for you!!).
For me, Christmas isn't about presents anymore. As I look for opportunities to serve others around me and make it about them - not me - I feel the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for each of us. And I feel that love transcend any heartbreak or grief I may be going through.
Because of the love and atonement of Jesus Christ, I'll have a chance to see my dad again. I am so grateful for this truth and reassurance, it's truly the best reason to celebrate this Christmas season!