We’re starting a new tradition for Christmas this year! I’m always looking for ways to bring more Christ focus into Christmas without taking away from the fun and magic for the kids. When I read about Elder Neil L. Andersen’s Thanksgiving devotional address, inspiration struck! It was the makings of a new Christ Centered Christmas tradition: The 3 Best Gifts.
Elder Andersen told about 3 gifts that everyone on Earth has been given:
- the gift of life . . . and I would add, the gift of a body, even when it comes with limitations
- “Before all else, we should thank our Heavenly Father for our very lives — that we breathe, that we have the amazing experiences of mortality, the privilege of growing our faith, learning to love within a family, and the joys of friendship that surround us.”
- the gift of agency . . . the ability to choose
- “When we determine to choose the right, to keep the commandments, to be unafraid of letting our will be swallowed up in the will of our Heavenly Father, we are giving to Him one of the very few things that is truly ours to give.”
- the gift of Jesus Christ . . . his life, his teachings, but most of all his atonement and resurrection
- “Because He lives and rose from the tomb, all mankind will be resurrected. Let us forever be filled with the awe, gratitude and wonder of the Savior’s sacred Atonement.”
So, this Christmas, I bought a set of 3 nesting gift boxes. In each one, I’m going to put a card that lists one of these gifts that Elder Andersen spoke of and the quotes I listed above. The boxes will sit under the tree and on Christmas Eve, before we do our traditional opening of new pajamas, we’re going to open the 3 boxes. We will talk about each gift, how it has blessed our lives this year and how we can show our thanks to Heavenly Father and honor that gift in the coming year (specific ways we can take care of our bodies, make good choices, and use the atonement in our lives).
I’ll pack the boxes away with our Christmas decorations and each year they’ll be put under the tree again. Sure, they’ll know what’s in the boxes next year, but having the opportunity to be reminded of these 3 special gifts each year will hopefully be a good way to instill their importance to our kids who need to value these things above all else.