Shopping at any mall during the hectic Christmas season can chase away the whole spirit of the season.   But a number of years ago my daughter, a newly married poor student, was working at a Nordstrom Department Store.   As she led a woman customer around the clothing department in which she worked, the woman asked for her advise as she was getting a present for a loved one who was about my daughter’s age. My daughter showed her around and during the course of their time spent together this mature woman got to know my daughter through their lengthy conversation.  As this woman asked advice regarding each clothing item, my daughter would respond with, “Oh, she would love this. I know I would want it if I could afford it.” After spending some time together, this customer bought two nice clothing items.  After her purchase and as she turned to leave, she said to my daughter,  “Here, this blouse is for you.”   With a smile she turned and left,  leaving my daughter touched by her generosity. What a wonderful example of giving without wanting reward or recognition.  Those truly are the best gifts to both give and receive.

Remember the words of the Savior:

“For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee a hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.”  (Matthew 25: 35-40)

May the true ‘Spirit of Christmas’ be in our hearts, and may we be generous to the ‘strangers’ that come into our lives. Small acts of kindness are often the most meaningful and have lasting power in both the giver’s life and that of those who receive them!

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