Ho! Ho! Ho!

Thursday, December 5

12-5By Don Richardson of Nauvoo, Illinois, USA

Lift up your eyes and fix them on the place beyond the horizon to which you are sent. Journey in trust, assured that the great and marvelous work is for this time and for all time.

—Doctrine and Covenants 161:1a

I hung the Christmas banner on our front porch in preparation for the holiday season. It had a seasonal image on it with the words “Ho! Ho! Ho!”(sounds of laughter) across the top. Since the Advent season is a time of joy, as well as hope, love, and peace— it seemed fitting.

However, as I stepped behind the banner, the words became “oH, oH, oH” from the back. These words, unfortunately, often express how some of us experience the Advent season. We stress out because of the expectations that we place on ourselves to meet the secular events of the Christmas season. Gifts for everyone, the crowds in the malls, the extra expenses of the season, the expectations of Christmas dinner, and the stress of work, all add stress to our lives.

We need to focus on the “Ho! Ho! Ho!” happy, joyful part of the season—we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Hope of the World and all that event means to the world as well to our individual lives. Keeping our eyes fixed on Christ as the meaning of Christmas not only lessens the stress of the season, it allows us to experience the joy, hope, love, and peace that Jesus Christ brings to our lives. Let’s make it a “Ho-pe! Ho-pe! Ho-pe!” season.

Prayer for Peace
Bringer of Emmanuel, set us free from shallow tradition so we may our honor our covenant tradition with you. Let our minds journey to the manger and share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice for Advent: Peace
Pause amid this busy season and open yourself to be mindful of the source of your life-giving breath. Reflect on where that breath blows you. Pray it leads you in pursuit of peace on Earth. In this short time of reflection, close your eyes, close out the din of the Christmas crowds, and prepare yourself for the coming of the Messiah. If your mind wanders to the commercial clamor, allow God to pull you back to focus on Christ, the center of Christmas. Expose your soul to God’s signature and the writing of the covenant of Christ’s peace on your heart.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will place Christ at the center of my celebration.

Leave a comment


  1. David Brock

     /  5 December 2013

    Thank you, Don. Oh, oh, oh! The things I miss at advent. Ho, ho, ho, the joy of what I DO see and hear in this season!


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