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Giving, not getting

December 22, 2011

“What did you get for Christmas?” This is the universal question among children for days following that most celebrated holiday of the year. A small girl might reply, “I received a doll, a new dress, and a fun game.” A boy might respond, “I received a pocketknife, a train, and a truck with lights.” Newly acquired possessions are displayed and admired as Christmas day dawns, then departs.

The gifts so acquired are fleeting. Dolls break, dresses wear out, and fun games become boring. Pocketknives are lost, trains do nothing but go in circles, and trucks are abandoned when the batteries that power them dim and die.

If we change but one word in our Christmas question, the outcome is vastly different. “What did you give for Christmas?” prompts stimulating thought and causes tender feelings to well up and memory’s fires to glow ever brighter.

Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than things. To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable and it becomes the Spirit of Christ.

Pres. Thomas S. Monson, “Christmas Gifts, Christmas Blessings,” Ensign, Dec. 1995

I’m sharing Christmas quotes every day this month.  To read the previous ones, click here.

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