“My Best Christmas,” Liahona, Dec. 2010, 40
One December when I was a child, my mother became very ill. The medication she was taking made her extremely tired, and she slept about 18 hours a day.
Since my mother was single, my older sister and I tried to keep the household running as best we could, but we were young and inexperienced, and we weren’t very successful. Several days into our mother’s illness, we were looking for something to eat. As we searched through the kitchen, the doorbell rang.
A sister from our ward was on the porch, meal in hand. She hadn’t known of our need, but there she was with dinner. She asked us how long our mother had been ill and how we had been coping for so long on our own. We assured her that we were managing as best we could, but we were grateful for her kindness in sharing a meal with us.
When she left our home, this sister called the Relief Society president and informed her of our family’s situation. The next day and for many days thereafter, members of the ward brought meals to our home. We were so grateful! What we didn’t eat right away we froze, and because of our ward’s kindness, our family had more than enough to eat for the next three months. But the kindness others showed didn’t stop there.
Christmas was approaching, and Mom was slowly getting better, but she was not back to her usual self. My uncle came to our home from Copenhagen, about 40 miles (65 km) away, to help with holiday preparations. He was generous in doing what he could, providing a Christmas tree and some food for our family’s celebration. He also bought a few presents for my sister and me. We, in turn, had purchased a few modest gifts for our mother and uncle. We knew we had much to be grateful for, but as children we were still feeling a bit disappointed with how this Christmas was turning out.
On Christmas Eve, our doorbell rang. I looked out the window but couldn’t see anyone. I concluded that it must be a prank, but my sister told me to open the door anyway. On our porch we found a large basket containing food and other necessities as well as some toys. We were sure it had been delivered to the wrong house. We went to the neighbors’ house to ask if the basket should have gone to their home, but they were gone. Then we noticed that all of the gifts were labeled with our names. There were even items for my uncle. Someone had thought about us.
The anonymous generosity shown my family that year made what had been a dark and sad Christmas the best Christmas of my life. The kindness and love we felt from others continue to touch me today.