Giving More Than Presents

    “Giving More Than Presents,” Liahona, December 2016

    Giving More Than Presents

    The author lives in Utah, USA.

    What kind of giver do you want to be?

    family at Christmastime

    The Christmas season is all about the Savior, Jesus Christ, and the spirit of giving. While it can be awesome to give and get presents, remember that we can give so much more than just physical gifts. Each day we can give of our time, talents, and kindness—and those are just some of the meaningful ways we can serve.

    So, how well are you doing at focusing on selfless giving? Take this quiz to find out.


    1 You’re getting ready for school. Your mom is asking you to come to breakfast, and she has taken the time to prepare your favorite meal. What do you do?

    1. Holler, “I’m not ready yet!” and then take your time getting ready, eat breakfast late, and miss the bus so she has to drive you to school.

    2. Eat breakfast quickly and dash out the door; she’s always doing things like that—it’s just what moms do.

    3. Thank Mom, get ready quickly, and take time to eat with your family.

    2 It’s 10:00 a.m., and your teacher is about to hand out a test. You don’t know the person sitting next to you very well, but you notice she’s frantically digging through her backpack. What do you do?

    1. Ignore her. You’re stressed as well and need to cram for the test.

    2. Wish her good luck.

    3. Ask her if she’s looking for something. When you hear she needs a pencil, you give her one of yours. “Keep it,” you tell her with a smile.

    3 After school someone on your football team is having a hard time passing the ball accurately—your specialty. He comes up after practice and asks if you can help him. What do you say?

    1. Tell him you’re way too busy. Maybe another day.

    2. Agree reluctantly and make a few passes with him, giving him one quick pointer before hurrying off to hang out with your friends.

    3. Spend several minutes giving him pointers and set up another time to practice together.

    4 At 5:30 p.m., your mom drops you off at the store to buy a Christmas present for your sister. What do you get?

    1. That’s easy. You go straight for that new basketball you’ve had your eye on for months. … She’ll probably like it too, right?

    2. Select the cheapest item on her list—she won’t be disappointed, and it didn’t cost you much.

    3. Find the newest book by her favorite author. You can’t wait to see the look of excitement on your sister’s face when she opens the package!

    5 It’s time for bed and you’re exhausted. You haven’t read your scriptures yet, though. What do you do?

    1. Count the reading you did on Sunday instead.

    2. While searching for your scriptures, you come across your favorite novel. Thirty minutes later you remember the scriptures and hurriedly read a short passage before turning out the lights.

    3. See both your scriptures and your favorite novel, but decide to give Heavenly Father first priority and say a quick prayer before you begin reading. You write down some of your thoughts as you study, and you thank Him again in prayer before you go to bed.


    If you answered mostly (a), you might want to turn your focus a little more toward others. Remember, giving and serving others will bring greater happiness to everyone involved (see Matthew 25:34–46).

    If you answered mostly (b), consider that “freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Think about how giving more willingly can help you find even more joy.

    If you answered mostly (c), keep it up! Your actions show the true spirit of Christmas.

    Consider how you can give heartfelt gifts to those around you this Christmas season. No matter your talents, you can find a way to show your love and appreciation for others by both the gifts you give and how you give them each day. Giving becomes a blessing and not a chore when we understand that by serving others, we’re really serving our Heavenly Father (see Mosiah 2:17).