Gifts You Can’t Wrap

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“Gifts You Can’t Wrap,” New Era, Dec. 2012, 42–43

All about Families

Gifts You Can’t Wrap

cupped hands

At Christmastime we often focus on giving gifts to those we love. But remember that some of the greatest presents are those you can’t wrap. Here are some unforgettable gifts you can give your parents.


One of the greatest gifts you can give is service. Your parents will love it.

  • Clean the house.

  • Offer to babysit.

  • Set and clear the table.

  • Make dinner for your family.

  • Do the dishes or sweep the floor.

  • Help a sibling with his or her homework.

  • Depending on the climate where you live, shovel the walkway or weed the garden.

Family Time

Even though you have a busy schedule, make time for your family. Your presence will help support your parents, and they will thank you for your efforts.

  • Participate in family home evening (without having to be reminded about it).

  • Play with your siblings.

  • Be on time for family dinners.

  • Talk with and listen to family members.

  • Participate in family prayer and scripture reading.

  • Spend time with your family instead of just your friends, or invite your friends to family activities (with your parents’ permission).


Let your parents know you are committing to something important. The best way to show your commitment is to start now and keep going.

  • Prepare to serve a mission (for young men). Start now by building up a mission fund if possible.

  • Study the scriptures daily.

  • Save some of your earnings.

  • Go to school without complaint and do your homework on time.

  • Attend seminary. If you go to seminary in the morning, wake up on your own.

  • Prepare for temple marriage. Make a list of important qualities to look for in a future spouse and then develop those qualities in yourself.


Your parents will appreciate a good attitude toward them and your other family members.

  • Have a positive attitude.

  • Don’t point out flaws in your parents or siblings.

  • Make a habit of saying thank you, even for the small things.

  • Write a thank-you letter to your parents for all they’ve done for you.

  • Resolve conflicts with your parents or siblings without anger or argument.

  • Count your blessings—literally. Create a list of things you’ve been able to do because of your parents’ support, and share the list with them.

Photo illustrations by Publishing Services and Robert Casey © IRI