Sunday, December 25, 2011

What did you GIVE for Christmas?

"What did you get for Christmas?' This is the universal question among children for days following that most celebrated holiday of the year. A small girl might reply, 'I received a doll, a new dress, and a fun game.' A boy might respond, 'I received a pocketknife, a train, and a truck with lights.' Newly acquired possessions are displayed and admired as Christmas day dawns, then departs.

The gifts so acquired are fleeting. Dolls break, dresses wear out, and fun games become boring. Pocketknives are lost, trains do nothing but go in circles, and trucks are abandoned when the batteries that power them dim and die.

If we change but on word in our Christmas question, the outcome is vastly different. 'What did you give for Christmas?' prompts stimulating thought, causes tender feelings to well up and memory's fires to glow ever brighter.

Someone has appropriately said, 'We make a living by what we get, but we build a life by what we give.'

Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world's busy life and become more interested in people than things. To catch the real meaning of the spirt of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the spirit of Christ. -Thomas S. Monson, New Era, 1986