Treasured Christmas Gifts From My Family

Early in our marriage my husband and I decided not to make lavish gift giving the focus of our holiday celebrations. The greatest gifts we could share as a family would be our presence with each other. Nothing can take the place of a loving family who enjoys just being together. Some of my favorite holiday moments include:

• Watching April and Dallan lovingly dress Caleb for his part as the angel in the family nativity play on Christmas Eve.
• Listening to my children and grandchildren sing Christmas songs around the piano.
• Attending my daughter Ashley’s first baby shower.
• Speaking in church on Christmas day about the gifts and tender mercies of the Savior.
Spending a week with Aubrey, Kyle and Rylan who live so far away.
• Attending my granddaughter Isabella’s adoption hearing.
• Listening to Alisa’s first orchestra concert as she played the cello.
• Going to the University Mall to hear John’s choir sing the Halleluiah Chorus.
• Receiving family history stories, pictures and books from my son Jordan.
• Walking through the woods in knee deep snow that sparkled like diamonds with my daughter Arianne.
• Watching BYU make a come-back victory at their bowl game while yelling and eating pizza at Jacob’s house.
• Watching my husband talk about his youth and LDS mission to his children and grandchildren during his day-after-Christmas Samoan Party. . . and watching Arianne and Jared prepare special Samoan food just for their Dad.
• Watching Ashley and Hyrum play the part of Mary and Joseph as they too are about to be embark on their journey together as parents.
• Playing the violin in a Dickens’s Christmas Carol Concert.
• Sleigh riding with children and grandchildren up at the cabin.
• Tearfully hugging Amy, Aden and Tessa goodbye before they had to leave for Oregon.
• Listening to my son Joseph express his love and gratitude for his father while eating our Christmas Eve dinner together.
• Watching 3-year-old Emma bravely finish the dance while the other little dancing girls ran off stage to their parents.
• Listening to John play “The River Flows Through You” with only the Christmas tree lights to illuminate the living room just before retiring for the night.
• Presenting our heart-felt personal gifts to the Christ child as a single candle flickered in the dark room.

The greatest gifts in life can't be seen or touched but only felt with the heart. May you feel the love of God in your life as you contemplate the gift of his Son and our Savior. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you my friends.