“To Truly Give, we must first Receive”

As we approach the Christmas season with thoughts about gift giving, I would like to share a couple of stories from Christmases past and the lessons I learned from them.

Christmas Story #1

Receive gift

One took place many years ago at a traditional family gathering where gifts were exchanged and opened. We have a particular family member who is one of those hard to buy for folks – you all know them. I had spent a great deal of time thinking about what to give this person, and even more time shopping and agonizing over what to choose. I finally selected what I thought was a simple but good gift. On Christmas day, I gave this nicely wrapped package to this person. He unwrapped and opened it. After taking a look, he placed it back inside the box, then handed it to another family member saying, “I opened this by mistake, this is for you.”

All this was right in front of me. My feelings would not have been hurt if this person had taken this gift back to the store and exchanged it for something else, or even if he had taken it home and then re-gifted it on another occasion. What hurt my feelings was that this gift was never acknowledged.

The real gift was not the object – the real gift was the thought, the intent, the effort put into the giving.

“For what doth is profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:33)

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