I have several favorite Christmases that always come to mind this time of year. When I was 11 years old my family lived in New Zealand. Because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, it's the summer season during Christmas. For Christmas that year my parents rented a small bungalow on a beach on the north island. Christmas morning we all received various beach toys, and I received a surf board. I remember spending several days playing in the warm sunshine in the sand and surf.
Of Christmases since, the ones that quickly come to mind with fond memories are the ones where we as a family put most of our effort into giving Christmas presents and experiences to neighbors or friends or new found friends that were struggling in some way during the Christmas season.
A favorite family tradition that Lori and I started in our family would be to have each one of us write on a slip of paper a gift that we would give to Jesus Christ in the coming year. These gifts could be something like saying daily prayers, or reading scriptures, or performing acts of service for others. Then we would each put our slip of paper in a box wrapped as a present. Before putting our gift for the coming year into the box, we would each silently review our gift (slip of paper) from the previous year. Then, we would watch the following short video. It's called "The Nativity: Luke II (1986)", and I still love the simplicity and the powerful feelings of gratitude the video invokes in me for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and His life and work that is of such incredible value.
I love you all and wish you the very best and joyful Christmas this year.
Contact a local nursing home and ask if there’s anything you can mail or drop off to safely provide holiday cheer to the residents. On social media, post an invitation for others to do the same.