Because the Christmas decorations have been out in the stores since September, I didn't think it was too early to do a Christmas post. We are almost to Thanksgiving and after that it is just a matter of weeks until the Holidays are over and we are left to cold, snowy January. I had considered buying a snow blower this year, but have yet to do it, so I am hoping that the drought will continue through the winter and we won't have too much snow.
Anyway, back to Christmas...a few years ago, I heard this quoted in a talk. I liked it so much that I printed it out and put it on the inside of my handmade Christmas cards that I passed out at work. To my delight, it was well received, so here goes:
THE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS
"Christmas is a time for giving. Someone once said he couldn't think of what to give for Christmas. The next day in the mail he received an anonymous list which read:
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.
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. "
(President Howard W. Hunter, Christmas Devotional, Dec. 12, 1994)
This counsel from a prophet of God is applicable to every day, not just the holiday season. We all need each other so much and for myself, I know that I fall short in some of these areas. Today, my efforts are renewed to reach out to others in love and compassion. As we enter the hectic pace of the holidays, may each of you be blessed with an opportunity to slow down and reflect on the reasons we are thankful as well as the blessings that are ours because Heavenly Father sent His son to redeem us. May you enjoy your families and friends and all your wonderful celebrations.