The other day, I was thinking about the presents I still needed to buy and all the things I still needed to do to get ready for Christmas. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Then I remembered a very important lesson my dad taught me. I learned a lot from him! I miss his wisdom and his gentle spirit so much. Dad was born during the Great Depression and grew up on a farm. So, from a very young age, my grandparents taught him about hard work and sacrifice. Since he was an only child, that meant there was a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice. They learned to make due with what they had or do without. Christmases were meager, sometimes only one small gift. They definitely didn’t have much, but that didn’t matter. They focused on what they had. They had each other. They had the gospel. And they had a lot of love. They really did have what mattered most.
Most of us will never know a Christmas where only one small gift is all we receive. One small gift. Isn’t that exactly how Christmas began? With the birth of the Savior, the ultimate gift was given to each of us.
Russell M. Nelson has said, “Through all of our various Christmas traditions, I hope that we are focused first upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Wise men still adore Him.”1 And “our adoration of Jesus,” he reminds us, “is best expressed by our emulation of Jesus.”2
This Christmas, may we be wise enough to emulate Jesus. May we give to others the same gifts He has given to us.
This Christmas, let’s give our time, our love, our kindness, our compassion, our forgiveness, our hearts, ourselves.
This Christmas, let the gifts we give be evidence of our adoration of Jesus.
1. Christ the Savior is Born – Russell M. Nelson
2. Perfection Pending – Russell M. Nelson