After “who, what, when and where” comes why. So, why do we give Christmas gifts? You know the answer, it’s to remind us of both the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus, and our Heavenly Father’s gift to each one of us, that of his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ himself.
One article puts it this way:
Christmas is the season of giving. Remember the Wise Men who came to see Jesus? They “presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11), but the greatest gift of all came from our Heavenly Father: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). As you open your brightly wrapped presents on Christmas morning, remember that the Savior is the true gift of Christmas.
How has exchanging gifts at Christmastime brought you closer to the Savior?
Each of you knows that I enjoy reading the words of our prophets and apostles. Here are some articles on the subject of Christmas gifts that I find particularly touching.
The Perfect Gift, by Henry B. Eyring
Heavenly Gifts, by Kevin R. Duncan
The Gifts of Christmas, by Mark E. Petersen
For the very same reason that we give gifts, we also receive them. Do we receive them as graciously as we give them? Consider this statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
Every gift that is offered to us—especially a gift that comes from the heart—is an opportunity to build or strengthen a bond of love. When we are good and grateful receivers, we open a door to deepen our relationship with the giver of the gift.
Remember that the purpose of these posts is to help us feel the spirit of Christmas year-round, on a monthly, weekly, even daily basis. We can practice giving and receiving gifts more than once a year, and the sacrament is a perfect time to do that. We can have Christmas every Sunday.
I watched [the priesthood holders preparing the sacrament] spellbound. The impact of what I had seen hit me full force. This, I thought, is what Christmas is about. The baby in the manger was only the beginning. The real meaning of Christmas is in the sacrifice of the Savior—the Atonement. Since that day, I have known where to find the spirit of Christmas any week of the year. It’s there at the sacrament table.