What Shall We Give?

Are you seeking the perfect present to give for Christmas? Try some gift-giving tips from President Thomas S. Monson, and enjoy an inspiring song:


The Christmas season, with its special meaning, inevitably prompts a tear, inspires a renewed commitment to God, and provides, borrowing the words from the lovely song “Calvary,” “rest to the weary and peace to the soul.”

I reflect on the contrasts of Christmas. The extravagant gifts, expensively packaged and professionally wrapped, reach their zenith in the famed commercial catalogs carrying the headline “For the person who has everything.” In one such reading I observed a four-thousand-square-foot home wrapped with a gigantic ribbon and comparable greeting card which said, “Merry Christmas.” Other items included diamond-studded clubs for the golfer, a Caribbean cruise for the traveler, and a luxury trip to the Swiss Alps for the adventurer.

wise men seeking christSuch seemed to fit the theme of a Christmas cartoon which showed the Three Wise Men traveling to Bethlehem with gift boxes on their camels. One says,

Mark my words, Balthazar, we’re starting something with these gifts that’s going to get way out of hand!”

Then there is the remembered Christmas tale of O. Henry about a young husband and wife who lived in abject poverty yet who wanted to give one another a special gift. But they had nothing to give. Then the husband had a ray of inspiration: “I shall provide my dear wife a beautiful ornamental comb to adorn her magnificent long black hair.” The wife also received an idea: “I shall obtain a lovely chain for my husband’s prized watch which he values so highly.”

Christmas day came; the treasured gifts were exchanged. Then the surprise ending, so typical of O. Henry’s short stories: The wife had shorn her long hair and sold it to obtain funds to purchase the watch chain, only to discover that her husband had sold his watch, that he might purchase the comb to adorn her beautiful long hair, which now she did not have. . .

. . .My own father, a printer, gave to me a copy of a piece he had printed. It was entitled “A Letter from a Father” and concluded with this thought:

“Perhaps my greatest hope as a parent is to have such a relationship with you that when the day comes and you look down into the face of your first child, you will feel deep within you the desire to be to your child the kind of parent your dad has tried to be to you. What greater compliment could any man ask? Love, Dad.”

. . .He who was burdened with sorrow and acquainted with grief speaks to every troubled heart and bestows the gift of peace.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

. . .May we give generously to Him, as He has so abundantly given to us, by living and loving as He and His Son have so patiently taught, is my earnest prayer.”

– excerpts from Gifts, by Thomas S. Monson, April 1993

Life is God’s gift to man. What we do with our life is our gift to God.”

Happy Birthday today, Mother!  Thank you for all the priceless gifts you have given to me in partnership with God. I love you! – MoSop

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