“Money was tight. With 4 young kids, expenses in the home was high. The need to constantly purchase milk and diapers were pretty draining. Though we ate simply, we still needed to allocate whatever we have carefully to ensure that it was spent at the right places.
Christmas was also coming. Both my wife & I were struggling to feel the cheerfulness of the season as we tried to also manage the expectations of the children. We had put up a Christmas tree with the decorations and lights blinking nicely at home. Under the tree, there were also a lot of ‘presents’ wrapped really nicely. Some of them were real gifts from doting aunts but most of them were just empty boxes but wrapped up to make the tree look nice.
A couple of days before Christmas, we had a huge surprise when we returned home. At our front door, we found a large number of wrapped presents. There were at least 2 gifts for every member of the family, including the parents! The kids were so excited that they had so many additional presents that they could unwrapped on Christmas Day! My wife and I were so thankful for this. This very thoughtful act lifted the mood of Christmas for everyone. It helped to bring back the Christmas cheer and spirit into the home that year. I am also sure that whoever gave those presents also felt joy in the act of giving and seeing how it can help lift others.”
This is the type of Giving Spirit that embodies the true meaning of Christmas. We celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ during this season, but the birth of our Savior is a gift from our Heavenly Father
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…”
Our celebration of Christmas should also be a reflection of the love and selflessness taught by the Savior. Giving, not getting, brings the full joy of Christmas. We feel more kindly towards others. We reach out in love to help those less fortunate. Our hearts are softened, enemies forgiven, friends remembered and God obeyed.
May we give as the Savior gave. To give of oneself is a holy gift. We give as a remembrance of all that the Savior had given.
As we continue to get to know each other better within the stake, let us all be more kind to each other, more forgiving of the trespasses and imperfections of others. As the Christmas season envelops us with all its glory, may we, as did the wise men, seek a bright, particular star to guide us in our celebration of the Savior’s birth. May we all make this journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior.
Singapore Stake Presidency
Jean-Luc Butel, Kwan Yew Mun, Steven Seow