This post is a few months old (you can tell it had a holiday theme), but I’m going to share it on  Cocoa’s Relief Society stories link and thought I should add a quick explanation.  One of the neat things I love about Relief Society is that it really is worldwide.  We moved into a new ward last summer, yet I was able to feel right at home, in spite of really not knowing anyone.  That’s why I appreciated this particular Relief Society activity so much; it gave me a chance to get to know so many new sisters.  

In addition, this picture doesn’t have anything to do with our “Gifts of the Savior” evening, but it has a lot to do with Relief Society.  This was another time when I attended a new Relief Society (we were on vacation – see more about that meeting here) and was welcomed with great love and friendliness, and they just so happened to be taking a group picture that Sunday.  I receive great comfort from knowing that no matter where I go, I will find sisters who care about me.  I only hope I’m doing my part to help others feel the same.

I really enjoyed our Relief Society activity last night. It was the perfect mix of giving and receiving, with a nice balance between fun activities and spiritual feasting.

Anyway, I thought I’d share what we did just in case you’re looking for some good ideas. The theme was “Gifts of the Savior” and the evening started with our Relief Society president sharing some thoughts on the subject. Then we played “Choose Your Side” which I thought was the perfect way to get to know new friends. Many of you are probably familiar with it, but I’d never heard of it before. Basically you’re to choose one of two options; option one is on one side of the room and option two is on the other. You just stand as a group and share why you picked that option. After a couple of minutes, a new category is given. Here were some of our choices:
  • Do you prefer your Christmas (A) cold and snowy or (B) hot and sunny?
  • Do you have (A) turkey/ham or (B) something else for your big Christmas dinner?
  • Would you rather have just (A) the main meal or (B) the dessert?
  • Can you keep the gifts you’re giving a secret? (A) yes or (B) no
There were a few more but that’s all I can remember now. The next activity involved dividing into two equal groups. The first group formed a circle facing outward and the second group formed a circle around them facing inward. (Basically, we paired up in a circle.) We took a couple of minutes to share a family tradition that brings Christ into Christmas. Then the outer circle moved to the next person, and we repeated that a few times.
I was just thinking that these would be great seminary activities to help wake teenagers up in the morning. The choice of questions and ideas to share is endless!! Also, feel free to comment on what you’d answer, or what you think my answers would have been. I’ll be sure to let you know if you’re correct!
The next activity was to pair up with the person you knew the least and exchange gifts. (We had been asked to bring a nice, White Elephant type gift with us.) That was a brilliant way to pair up because we all got to make a new friend.  And it didn’t take nearly as long as the typical group gift exchange games do.  [This really worked!  I had no idea who Fay was before this particular evening, now she’s one of my favorite people!] 
We ended by having a few sisters speak on specific gifts of the Savior (peace, example, guidance, and love) and visiting once again while nibbling on fresh fruit and nut bread. It was a great evening. The only thing that would have made it better is if YOU had been there!