Anonymous Gifts
December 1983

“Anonymous Gifts,” Ensign, Dec. 1983, 55

Anonymous Gifts

When I think about my most inspiring Christmas, I think of “Christmas angels” and turkeys. What a combination! But together they showed me the true meaning of Christmas.

As the 1970s came to a close, it seemed as though my husband, Ron, was out of work more than he was working. We thought our problems were over, though, when in 1981 he found a good-paying job to support our family of five. It seemed there was light at the end of our financial tunnel. In September, we had more cause to celebrate—we learned that our fourth child would be arriving the next April. Life was wonderful.

Then came the tenth of November, our son’s first birthday, and Ron came home to inform me that disagreements with his employer might force him to leave his job. Sure enough, on the sixteenth, Ron was again unemployed. Needless to say, money became nonexistent for a while as his employer refused us unemployment benefits. With only a couple of weeks until Christmas, we became depressed as we thought of how little we could do for our three children, ages six, three, and one.

A couple of days before Christmas, after an evening of Church meetings, we returned to our locked car to find a turkey and a box of groceries on the front seat. With the box was a card that told us our service to the Lord hadn’t gone unnoticed. The next morning, there was another turkey on our front step, and a large plastic bag tied with a poinsettia. In this bag there were presents for each of us. And before the day was over, we received another turkey!

Not only were we blessed by receiving, but because of the generosity of our anonymous friends, we were blessed in being able to help other unemployed families.

Now, as Christmas time rolls around, we have a family home evening just to do something special for another family. When I hang the plastic poinsettia on my curtains, I think of the greatest gift of Christmas—love—and how grateful we are to our “Christmas angels” for loving us through that difficult period of our lives.

  • Valda P. Hoennicke, mother of four children, serves as a genealogy teacher and Primary chorister in her Dover, Delaware, ward.

Illustrated by Scott Snow