“Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Yesterday I wrote about the #SharetheGift campaign being promoted via social media by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the holiday season has progressed, the power of this simple idea has taken hold of my heart.
Recently I was asked to serve as the president of our ward's Young Women Auxiliary. It is a truly humbling experience as I get to spend time with an amazing group of Heavenly Father's daughters. Their love for their Savior and for each other has already taught me so much.
Last night was no different. One of the girls in our group will be moving soon as her family is relocated to fulfill a new assignment for her father's employer. Although we had not planned to meet together, we decided to put together a last minute farewell party. The men in my household chose to take this time to hide in the basement with the door shut. Not sure why a houseful of women and teenage girls is so terrifying, but they did not re-emerge till the last guest had departed.
After decorating sugar cookies and playing Apples to Apples, I felt I should do something to tie the activity into the Christmas season. We talked about Christmas and the #SharetheGift campaign. I had each girl write on piece of paper something that they could do to share the gift. The papers were then placed in a gift box and the box was passed around the group a second time and each girl drew a piece of paper and read what was written on it.
I WILL #SHAREtheGIFT BY... I will do something good.
I WILL #SHAREtheGIFT BY... I will be nice.
I WILL #SHAREtheGIFT BY... Saying something nice to all I meet.
I WILL #SHAREtheGIFT BY... I will be kind.
I WILL #SHAREtheGIFT BY... Showing my love.
I WILL #SHAREtheGIFT BY... Doing a service each day.
I WILL #SHAREtheGIFT BY... Reading the Book of Mormon again.
I WILL #SHAREtheGIFT BY... Being loyal.
No one suggested any great feat, but that just reminded me that if we each do a little; each do our part; great things will come to pass. At the end, one of the young women explained that to her Christmas is not about the presents, lights, trees or any of the other trappings. Christmas is about being able to be with her family.
This is the first Christmas my family will be without my mother. It is hard to imagine her not right now putting together gift bags of oranges, apples, bananas, Watkins Soup Mix and Watkins Vanilla for her children. She would spend all year looking for and purchasing gifts for her grandchildren. Many hours would be spent sewing dollclothes, dresses, nightgowns, scripture totes, dishtowels, etc. to be opened Christmas Day, often with her staying up late into the early hours of the morning to finish a project not just for her family but for many of her neighbors. She was one who knew to #SharetheGift, not just with items wrapped under the tree, but in gifts of service.
Today I am especially grateful for the First Gift, the Greatest Gift, the Gift of the Son of God to be the Savior of the world. These words from a familiar hymn ring especially loud this year:
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.
O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
|You can download your own sign at http://www.mormon.org/christmas. |
and commit how you will #SharetheGift this holiday season.