Christmas is about spending time with our family and those we love as we celebrate the real reason for the season – the birth of the Savior of the world – Jesus Christ. Not only is it a time when we give gifts to and receive gifts from family and friends, but the season can become extra special when we take the time to help light the world by sharing our love with those who may be less fortunate than ourselves. The greatest gift that we can give anyone is the gift of our love and one of the ideal ways to do that is through small acts of kindness and service for others.
Perhaps there are those who feel that they have nothing to give to anyone. The truth is that we all have something that we can give. Service does not necessarily have to be something grandiose. It can be a simple act of kindness. Such random acts of kindness could include baking cookies or prepare a meal for a neighbor or friend, inviting someone who is spending Christmas alone to be a part of our Christmas, or helping a neighbor or friend complete some tasks that need doing. The list of possibilities for service to others is endless.
There may also be those who are so wrapped up in their daily routines that they feel that they are too busy to get involved with serving others, or they will only give service if there is something in it for themselves. To them, I ask the same question that King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon in his epic sermon asked, “For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?” (Mosiah 4:19). The greatest blessing from service is rendering the service without expecting anything in return. Our reward for our labors of love are the blessings that we receive as we bless the lives of others. As Anne Frank so astutely commented, “No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Depicted in a new Christmas Music video called “In the Bleak Midwinter” by pianist Monica Scott and cellist Sarah Arnesen are scenes of a family rendering acts of kindness to their neighbors. Not only does the mother become engaged in providing service to others, but by her example, she also teaches her children the importance of serving others. The beautiful arrangement of the song performed by Monica and Sarah creates a serene atmosphere – the type of calmness and peace that a person feels in their heart from the joy of serving others.
Featured in the video are the sweet vocals of 11-year-old Miranda Seminario, a member of the One Voice Children’s Choir. She sings the last verse of the song which exemplifies the Spirit of giving and service. The words to the verse are:
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.
The greatest gift that any of us can give to help light the world is to give our hearts. Let us remember not to save all our love just for Christmas Day, but let us find a way to give a little love every day to everyone we meet. Let’s Light the World together! God bless us, everyone!