“Gifts to Remember,” Ensign, Dec. 1998, 60
When my brothers and sisters and I grew up and married, I found my Christmas list getting longer every year. I wondered if we could do something that didn’t cost money but would still show our love. I recalled that when my family gets together, we often talk of our memories as children, so I suggested we write down one memory every year and give it to each other.
First I bought some loose-leaf binders. Then I asked each of my brothers and sisters to write down a childhood memory and send it to me. I made copies of the stories, put a full set into each binder, and sent them to my brothers and sisters for Christmas. In subsequent years we took turns collecting, copying, and sending our memories to add to our binders.
We have been doing this for 12 years, and it has proven to be a real success. As we have read each other’s stories, we have laughed, cried, and enjoyed them more than any material gift we could have received. We discovered that even when two people wrote of the same event, their accounts differed greatly. And every story was flavored by the author’s wit, personality, and love.
As the years passed and our binders grew thicker, we discovered our stories could be used as examples in lessons, as bedtime stories for our children, and at family reunions. They have also become part of our personal histories. This activity has also helped us get to know each other better than ever before, and it has helped our love for each other grow even stronger.
As we prepare these gifts of ourselves each year—ones that cost no money, do not need wrapping, and are not hard to mail—we often find ourselves wondering as Christmas approaches, What will they think of next? —Elaine Kimball Busath, Pleasanton, California