The Gifts of Christmas

With Christmas only a few short days away, I wanted to use this week’s Ask a Mormon post to talk a little bit about Christmas.

Courtesy of HikingArtist.com, Some Rights Reserved
Courtesy of HikingArtist.com, Some Rights Reserved

It seems like so much of our Christmas celebration these days centers around gifts.  “What did you buy your kids?” “What did your husband (or wife) buy you?” “What did you bring to the Christmas Party?” “Did you see the awesome sales down at…?” and so forth.

It’s so easy to get so caught up in the “hustle and bustle” that we forget the real reason for Christmas.

“The spirit of Christmas is something I hope all of us would have in our hearts and lives–not only at this particular season but also throughout the year.  When we have the spirit of Christmas we remember Him whose birth we commemorate at this season of the year: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11).”

-“Rediscovering the Christmas Spirit“, Thomas S. Monson

So how do we keep the true spirit of Christmas alive in our hearts, our families and our lives?  That is the million dollar question, isn’t it?  In the article that I just quoted, Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , asks a great question that really has me thinking about my walk as a follower of Jesus Christ–a Christian.

He says,

“In our day the spirit of giving gifts plays a large role in commemorating the Christmas season.  I wonder if we might profit by asking ourselves, What gifts would the Lord have me give to Him or to others at this precious season of the year?”

-“Rediscovering the Christmas Spirit“, Thomas S. Monson

“What gifts would the Lord have me give…?”

I would invite you to read the rest of President Monson’s article and learn what he suggests we might give.  Click here to read it.

Let me share with you a few of the things that I believe the Lord would have me give to Him and to others.

1.  Devotion.  A gift I can give to the Lord is my devotion.  I can be unwavering in following the Savior.  I can strive to emulate His example.  I can be obedient to His commandments.  I can live a life that allows others to identify me as a Christian by my actions.

2.  Charity.  I don’t mean money, though that sometimes may be the case.  I mean the pure love of Christ (Moroni 7:47).  I mean to love others as Christ would love them.  To serve them, care for them and think of them as would Christ.

3.  Time.  I get so caught up in making a living and trying to get ahead that it is easy to forget that one of the most precious gifts that I can give those closest to me is my time.  Holding my newborn son and talking to him.  Playing Barbies, or Squinkies, or “cash register” with my daughter.  Sitting down and listening to my wife when I get home.  These are all precious gifts of time that will be priceless to my family.

4.  Forgiveness.  Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts that I can give to others.  It is an almost certainty that someone will offend me, wrong me, or hurt me in the next year.  Forgiveness is a free gift that I can give them.  They cannot take it, buy it or earn it, it must be freely given.

These are a few of the gifts that I believe that the Lord would have me give during this season.

As you enjoy your Christmas celebrations, your family, your friends, and your gifts, I want to give you one last gift–the gift of my testimony,

I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior–my Savior.  I know that He was born, lived a sinless, perfect life and atoned for your sins and my sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross.  I know that He was resurrected three days later and lives today!  I know that because of this, you and I can be forgiven of our sins, receive daily help and strength and return to live with our Father in Heaven again.

“He lives! All glory to His name!

He lives, my Savior, still the same.

Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:

I know that my Redeemer lives!”

I Know That My Redeemer Lives, Hymn 136

Question: What gifts do you think the Lord would have you give Him or give others?

Please share this post with others if you have found value in it, and Merry Christmas!

Also, visit www.mormon.org/Christmas for free Christmas ecards, free downloads of Christmas music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and videos depicting the life of Jesus Christ.

  • Great post Mark. Your points are so spot-on – I think we forget that sometimes giving our time or our focus can be the most important thing to our families. Many blessings to you and your family this Christmas.

    • Thanks so much Carol for reading! I hope you have a fantastic Christmas as well! Thanks so much for being a great example to me this year!