This feels so much better to me than all the chaos, all the money, all the regrets, all the bank-staetment ‘after shock,’ all the disappointments, all promises to do it right next year . . . .
I echo Howard W. Hunter’s suggestions for a wonderful and warm Christmas:
Never did the Savior give an expectation of receiving. He gave freely and lovingly, and his gifts were of inestimable value. He gave eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and legs to the lame, cleanliness to the unclean, wholeness to the infirm, and breath to the lifeless. His gifts were opportunity to the downtrodden, freedom to the oppressed, forgiveness to the repentant, hope to the despairing, and light in the darkness. He gave us his love, his service, his life. And most important, he gave us and all mortals resurrection, salvation, and eternal life.
President Hunter shared a story of a man who couldn’t think of any gifts to give for Christmas. The next day he received an anonymous list in the mail.
Give to your enemy forgiveness,
To your opponent tolerance.
To your friend your heart,
To all men charity,
for the hands that help are holier than lips that pray,
To every child a good example,
and to yourself—respect.
This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again. Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning—with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most.