“Family Home Evening Helps: Five True Gifts,” Ensign, Dec. 2004, 65
“Among the true gifts of Christmas are peace, love, service, self, and faith.” These words touched me as I read President James E. Faust’s message in the December 2001 Ensign (“A Christmas with No Presents,” 2). To share this important message with our children, my husband and I decided that our December family home evenings should focus on these gifts.
Before our first family night that month, I displayed a poster listing these five true gifts. Each family member old enough to prepare a lesson was given one of the topics, along with a teaching suggestion.
For our first lesson, I chose the gift of love. Sharing quotations from the Ensign article, I referred to an attractively wrapped gift placed under our tree ahead of time. It displayed the word love on it. To visually remind us of the true gifts we were seeking, we added four more gifts in the ensuing weeks.
For the gift of peace, we challenged our family to avoid contention in our home. Our lesson on service took us to a neighboring nursing home, where we sang carols and decorated a tree for a sister my husband visited as a home teacher. During our lesson on the gift of self, we chose to look beyond ourselves and secretly serve others. Lessons on faith came from the scriptures as we focused on the prophecies of the Savior’s birth and on the faith of those who, under the threat of death, still believed He would come (see, for instance, Hel. 14:2–6; 3 Ne. 1:4–21).
On Christmas morning the impact of our lessons became evident when I saw how our teenage son had arranged our true gifts around a painting of the Savior. Our Christmas was much richer when our family focused more on these true gifts of Christmas.
Heather J. West, East Valley Ward, Emmett Idaho Stake