12 Gifts for Christ Summary
Christmas is a time for celebrating the birth of Christ and a time for giving. In the middle of this busy season, it is easy to forget the very reason why we celebrate. The first Christmas began with gifts of light and gold. This Christmas, ask: What gifts can I give to Him?
In 12 Gifts for Christ, author Merrilee Boyack suggests ways we can give to the Savior, including having gratitude, sharing through service, and loving others. With examples of these gifts shared through personal stories, scriptures, activities, and family home evening lessons, she suggests presenting those gifts to Christ in letters placed in stockings or brightly wrapped boxes. Following the ideas of this book will truly add joy to the spirit in our hearts and homes during Christmas!
12 Gifts for Christ Review
Last week was Thanksgiving and that means Christmas really is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is almost as late as it can be, so we are really already into the thick of Christmas before the dishes are done and the pie is gone.
It is so easy at this time of year to get caught up in wish lists and Black Friday and holiday parties and all the secular trappings of the holidays. In and of themselves, these aren’t bad things. The holidays can be lots of fun and full of joy. There should be more than one kind of holiday joy, though.
The real joy of the holidays should come from the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Savior of the World. This doesn’t mean we need to set aside wish lists and holiday parties (though I could personally live without the insanity that is Black Friday); it just means that our Christmas traditions should focus on the real reason for this celebration and the wish lists and parties are just icing on the cake.
Merrilee Boyack’s new Book, 12 Gifts for Christ: Traditions, Activities, and Devotionals for a Christ-centered Christmas, is full of simple and do-able ideas that can help your family build Christmas Traditions focused on the life and teachings of Christ.
Each of the twelve chapters focuses on a different devotional with suggestions for teaching it to our families and applying it to our lives. Some of these are the gifts of Gratitude, Obedience, Charity, Faithfulness and Love, among others.
The chapters begin with personal observations by Merrilee, and include suggestions for scripture study, family devotional, family home evening and specific Christmas traditions to build family bonds and reinforce the gifts. It is an enjoyable read with easily implementable ideas. Reading Merrilee’s books is really like sitting in on a conversation with her. And I suppose this is the part where I should disclose that I actually know Merrilee. We went to church together years ago when we both lived in California, and I have always found her writing style to really be just like her.
My favorite chapters in 12 Gifts were those of charity and of gratitude. I have been focusing much on building a stronger sense of gratitude this year and so I am thankful for ideas on how to extend it more fully during this Christmas season. And, of course, charity goes right along with that because I have found that the more I exercise gratitude, the more inclined I am toward charity and seeking to express my gratitude through service to others.
Since I was a child, we have always given service as a family at the holidays (as well as throughout the year) and not always in the expected ways. I learned, even back then, that charity helps to develop gratitude and gratitude charity. And the same can be said for the other gifts in the book.
Whether you read this at Christmas and use it to help add a more spiritual focus to your Christmas traditions or whether you read it at any other time of the year–because the lessons really are year-round–this is a wonderful family resource for learning and developing Christ-like qualities.
About the Author
Merrilee Boyack is a popular speaker and author of several books, including When I’m a Missionary (an illustrated book for children); The Parenting Breakthrough; In Trying Times, Just Keep Trying; Will My Child Be Ready? and 12 Gifts for Christ. She is an estate-planning attorney in Utah and California and lives in Lehi, Utah.
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