Friday, December 3, 2010


I've been given the privilege of speaking at our Christmas Sacrament service on Gifts. Of course I'm assigned to do my version of President Monson's talk of a few years ago on the gifts we've been given, but I've been thinking of other gifts that we can give.

Some years at Christmas when my kids were little, we'd put a basket on the fireplace and when someone did a good deed or performed a service for someone else, they'd put a note in the basket as a gift to the Savior: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these...." Then on Christmas Eve we'd read each note and remember with warmth - and some humor - the good deeds that had been done.

And some years the family would think about it all month, then on Christmas Eve we would write a note - a pledge - put it in a little box and tie it with a ribbon. Then each little box would go in the Christmas basket as gifts to be given to the Savior during the year. We each kept a note to remind ourselves what we were doing as our gift to the Savior that year.

This year, given President Monson's emphasis on service and my upcoming talk on gifts, I decided I wanted to give a gift of service every day in December to someone - somewhere. Of course, that is very easy to do when we have a retirement center in our ward, and several people who have just come out of the hospital with various problems. Those obvious persons will be the recipient of acts of service, but I want to delve deeper than that. I want to find people who don't expect anything. People hidden away in their lonely little world who need acts of love, especially at this time of year. I'd even thought about not counting acts of service to family members, but decided against that. They need them as much as others.

I have a terrible time sitting down to write little notes to people who have done something nice, or who need a lift, or some kind of thank you. If I can send a quick e-mail, I'm good with that, but that can't count as a gift of service. It is too easy. And who wants to keep things like that on their computer to read again and again - if they like it?

Yesterday I printed address labels for my Hawaiian sister(the one I take care of all her medical stuff) and took them to her for her Christmas cards. Today I made a goodie to take to a man who just got out of the hospital (in fact, two men in our ward!) Tomorrow I volunteered to take the shift of a sister at the Family History Center while she recuperates from a medical procedure she had this week. That is a special sacrifice as it is a Saturday morning I could really use at home. Those are the best gifts - ones that you sacrifice to give. I need to come up with something special for Sunday for another sister who just came home from the hospital.

Then my challenge will begin - finding something special, different, unique - some kind of service that will be meaningful - a gift of love - and then finding people to give that gift to that really need it.

Of course, the intent behind the whole exercise is to come closer to my Savior and appreciate more fully the magnificent gifts that He has given me. Hopefully, I will be better able to speak on gifts at Christmas.

1 comment:

Cheri J. Crane said...

Lynn, I'm sure you'll do a great job with your talk. Your Christmas gifts are heart-warming and an example to us all.