This year - I've tried to get my Christmas shopping done in a timely manner so I am not stressed and buying random presents without putting a lot of thought into it. I'm proud to say I am ALL DONE with my Christmas shopping, with one tiny exception... my new cutest niece that was born on Thanksgiving! I was talking to my sister the other day and asking her what the baby wanted for Christmas. She jokingly responded, "Oh, let me go ask her..." I know babies can't tell you want they want!
But! It started a train of thought. What would my niece actually want? What gift do you get for a brand-new baby? Given the season, I then started to think about another baby who was given gifts around this time of year... you know where I am going with this :)
What can we give to people who are essentially (or literally) perfect? My baby niece or to the Christ child? The only answer I have been able to come up with is love. I can show love for my niece by taking care of her. I can also show love by taking care of her sister so that her mom can feed her, or so that her mom and dad can get some rest. In fact, a lot of the ways that I can show love to my niece, indirectly benefit someone else. (I'm perhaps the biggest beneficiary since I get to love on such a perfect, good-smelling, cutie baby :) )
As with my niece, oftentimes the way that we can show love to Christ is by helping others. In fact, there are multiple scriptures that state this - a few examples:
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."
This December, in addition to trying to finish my Christmas shopping early ;), I have also been trying to keep myself more service centered. My church has started a wonderful campaign to do 25 acts of service in the 25 days leading up to Christmas. You may have seen it on social media with the hashtag #LIGHTtheWORLD. I have been extremely grateful to have a plan given to me on how I can serve others daily. Something I've noticed is that it seems I have been presented with ways to serve every day that coincide with that day's theme. Or more likely, I have been more apt to notice opportunities for service.
One day last week, there was a "snowstorm" in Seattle. Granted, this amount of snow would not have garnered a second-look by anyone used to snow, but it was a lot for this area :) That morning, I went out to move my car to make sure my roommate could get out of the driveway to get to work (I'm not a morning person... and when I have the chance, I always go to work last out of anyone at my house :) ). While doing this - I had the sudden urge to scrape the windows of all my roommates cars. I'd like to say that I am always that naturally inclined to serve, but I don't think that I am. I think that the consistent daily effort of looking to help others for the past couple weeks was finally starting to take hold. Instead of solely focusing on myself, I was feeling more of the true spirit of the season, and loving and serving people like Christ would have. Funny part of the story is, by the time any of my roommates left the house, it had warmed up enough that the snow had melted completely off their cars anyway! Initially I thought, "Well - that was a waste." But with further contemplation, I was so grateful that a small change of heart had occured within me, and even if no one else saw or knew about it, I did.
I want to be more like more Savior each day. I am grateful for a time of year when so many people are directing their thoughts toward Him. We love and serve and give more at Christmas, because of Him. I am hopeful that we can all give freely to others as our gift to the Savior this Christmas!
I've had this song on my mind all day at work. I remember the first time I heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing this song and how beautiful it sounded to me. I also love the video that was made to accompany it. I am not a huge crier - but I cry every time I watch it. I definitely invite you to give it a watch :)
Love you too much!!! - Sara
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