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The best gifts are time & loveIt’s the week before Christmas and all through the town, it seems like there isn’t a soul in their home.  People and cars and traffic and stores, rushing and hustling in one big frantic blur…

We’re down to the wire. Just a few more days to make sure that we spend as much money as necessary to make sure that Christmas is memorable to our family.  But is it really getting that perfect “toy” that makes Christmas special?

I saw this commercial for Ikea, and was truly touched by the sentiment, and honesty of the people in this experiment.

I’m grateful for the fact that we don’t have to go without and we can give gifts to others to let them know we are thinking of them, but what is the most meaningful thing we can give?  It is the thing that is often most precious.  Our time. Time spent together is something we just don’t get enough of in a world filled with so much technology and busyness.

As I’m rushing to finish my Christmas preparations, I have chosen to make time together a bigger priority than shopping.

What are the brightest Christmas memories that you have from your childhood?  Mine were not necessarily the gifts (unless they were unexpected and I knew that a sacrifice was made for them.)  My most memorable Christmases were the things that we did together as a family. Reading the Christmas story and acting it out on Christmas eve. (Susan was Mary and put her cabbage patch doll in her shirt that fell out as she walked) We talked and laughed and enjoyed each other.  There were many Christmases where we included other members of the family, traveling to Grandmas, or having cousins over to celebrate together. There were times we went to sing at a nursing care facility to people who didn’t get to have family with them for Christmas.

My presents to my kids this year were plane tickets to come home for Christmas, and other adventures to do together while they are here.  The best part of Christmas for them is the ability to spend time with each other.

The most meaningful Christmas activity we can all do is attending Church together and take time to have family discussions about Christ, the atonement, and the gift of the Father sending His only begotten son to earth. As the angels sang at the first Noel, celebrating “Now, all is well”, we can welcome the spirit of Christmas into our homes by reading and singing and sharing our feelings and testimony of the greatest gift ever given, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Our time on this earth is a gift from God, and we don’t know how much of it we will get.  Giving that time to family and friends at this season truly can be the best gift of all.

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