With that in mind, I'd like to take you to our home on Christmas eve, 11 years ago. Our 3 oldest children had returned from their LDS missions that year. We had gathered for our traditional Christmas eve activity of eating, reading Luke 2 and acting out the Nativity. On that particular year we had decided to forgo the acting since the youngest, Jacob, was 7 and didn't want to be the baby Jesus. (I won't tell you the antics my older kids did over the years during the Nativity. Let's just say it wasn't very reverent.) After reading in Luke, we read Christmas stories from the lives of other people. My son, Daniel, had returned from his mission the month before and it was the first time in 2 years that all 10 of us had been together as a family for Christmas. Jacob was lying on the floor during the story telling, in his own little 7-year-old world. As Dan read his story, the spirit touched his heart and he became emotional. He paused to work around his tears and the lump in his throat. It touched all of us and we were all quietly waiting for Dan and struggling with our own emotions. At that point, Jacob realized that the REAL world around him was quiet. He went from his lying position on the floor to sitting up to look at his brother and said, "Oh! Is there a picture?" That innocent response from him, got us all laughing and has been used as a way to lessen the embarrassment during an emotional time.
We have since added 13 people to our family and more chaos to our Christmas eve tradition. But I love to remember that Christmas eve when we were all together, with the spirit of Christmas enveloping our home and our hearts.