Though Christmas may seem to be about presents and family celebrations, the true meaning of Christmas is bringing God’s love to everyone— especially those who feel lonely and forgotten.
Many of us remember past Christmases filled with presents, laughter, and love and eagerly anticipate making more happy memories on Christmases to come. But those who feel alone and forgotten may struggle to feel the spirit of Christmas as they observe, rather than experience, the joy of the holiday season. It may be difficult to know how to reach out to the lonely and forgotten, but God set an example for us on the world’s first Christmas by giving humankind the perfect gift through Christ: love.
In the 2012 Christmas devotional “Christmas Is Love,” President Thomas S. Monson shared a story about visiting his past Primary teacher Melissa, who was in a nursing home at the time. Other residents chided him for talking to Melissa because she no longer recognized anyone. Ignoring their comments, President Monson patiently fed Melissa dinner and thanked her for her Primary service. As he rose to leave, tears of gratitude spilled down Melissa’s face as she said, “You’re Tommy Monson, my Primary boy. How I love you.” Though President Monson’s small gesture of kindness had no monetary value, it meant more to Melissa than any store-bought present because she felt remembered and loved.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, we can follow President Monson’s example by offering “the gift of love” to the lonely in our communities through simple acts of service, like visiting elderly people, calling a friend, or writing a letter of gratitude. Like the Wise Men, we can “make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior” and bringing love to those who need it this Christmas season.
Read “Christmas Is Love” by President Thomas S. Monson to learn how serving others with love can increase your joy during the Christmas season.
—Abigail Tree, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY DAN KIEFER
Find more insights
Read “Finding Joy by Serving Others” by JoAnn Randall to learn how to better give and receive service.
Take a look at Jean B. Bingham’s talk “Ministering as the Savior Does” to read about how other Church members have successfully ministered to their neighbors.