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“As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit. … We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “In Search of the Christmas Spirit,”
Ensign, Dec. 1987, 5.
- Give an inexpensive Book of Mormon with these instructions.
Use a red pencil or pen:
• check mark in the margin beside names and titles of Christ including pronouns and clear symbolic reference of Him
• underline direct quotes, His words as quoted by prophets
• circle his characteristics and attributes
This is taken from Preach My Gospel (Chapter 5, page 12). You can see how red your Book of Mormon will get! This testifies to me of how much the Book of Mormon is truly Another Testament of Jesus Christ. There are over 2,000 references to Jesus Christ is just 1st and 2nd Nephi alone.
- Advent Calendar. Starting December 13th, use Prophecies of Christ’s Coming in the December 2008 New Era to prepare for Christmas now by remembering how others prepared for Him then. There is a prophecy as well as a activity for your family to do each day from December 13th to December 24th
- Give the gift of FHE A simple 3 ring binder can be filled with talks from LDS.org on things that a particular family needs.
Or create an easy "FHE in a Jar" I bought an inexpensive container from the DI (cost $1.00) and filled it with FHE strips. The download is available from Mormon Share.org. Just print (in color or black & white), cut out the strip and place them in a jar, envelope or even a Ziploc bag. Each strip contains a song, scripture and topic to discuss that evening.
- Gratitude Journal - Create a gratitude journal for someone on your Christmas list. On the inside cover you can print the words to the song "Because I Have Been Given Much" Hymn 219. There are a couple great articles by President Thomas S. Monson on Gratitude, "An Attitude of Gratitude" and "Finding Joy in the Journey", that could also be included in the gratitude journal.
- Make someones family tree. You can either create a handcrafted work or art or promise to give a few hours each week doing genealogy work for your family. The sample on the left uses an inexpensive sheet of scrapbooking paper (this one was at Michaels). Using a black pen, fill in their family information. Print out black and white pictures and attach them to the scrapbook paper. Mount of a piece of wood or frame it in a 12x12 frame.
Another idea to create a Hand-Lettered Family Tree. Details are found at Martha Stewart.com.
- Generations Portraits - Frame the high school graduation (or close to it) portraits of the recipient, mother and grandmother, or recipient, father and grandfather.
- Instead of asking for tangible gifts, request for your family to spend a day at the Temple. What better way to feel of the spirit that to be in the House of the Lord
- Make a handmade Savings/Tithing/Spending bank for a future missionary on your list.
- Make a church quite book filled with family pictures, pictures of Christ, pictures of the prophets, Bible stories or Mormonads. Mormon Chic has a very cute Quiet Book to download.
- Read Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright this holiday season. Start your own Christmas Jar and use only the change you've collected to buy your holiday gifts. Or give the jar to a needy family this year.
- Start a Good Turn Diary. Fill each page with a good deed you've done this year, big or small it doesn't matter. Give this diary filled with your good deeds as a gift this year. This idea was taken from Christmas and the Good Turn Diary by James E. Faust. Here is an excerpt from the book.
"Christmas was tough one year for the Card family because of the Depression, but somehow their parents managed to scrape up a few things for the children's stockings--a comb, a pair of socks, some colorful hard-tack candy. As the eight siblings were reveling in the feelings of love and excitement in the room, their father opened a small, plainly wrapped gift. Inside was a Boy Scout diary kept by one of his sons, Brigham, in 1933, with the initials 'GT' (standing for 'good turn') printed on each day's page. The evidence of his son's faithful, consistent service throughout the year meant more to the father than anything he could have received."
"This lovely Christmas booklet by President James E. Faust recounts the tender true story of that unusual gift and reminds us of the joy of serving at Christmastime and always."
- Read The Last Straw over Thanksgiving weekend. Have family members draw names each night during Family Home Evening to find our who their secret person will be that week. During the week do special good deeds for your secret person. For each good deed you do put a piece of straw in the manger to make a soft bed for baby Jesus. The goal is to have all the pieces of straw in the manger by December 24th!
- Give pretty little gift boxes that say
"To the _______ Family. The Greatest Gift of All"
Inside the box reads
"From Jesus Christ—The Gift of Eternal Life."The LDS article pictured above is called "The Gift Box" and is from the December 2008 New Era.
- Start a Mission Fund for your Parents. Here is a sweet letter and article from the Ensign entitled "The Gift That Took Our Breath Away" from the December 2006 Issue
Good Turn template can be downloaded here.