Christmas Socks Warm More Than Missionaries’ Feet
Contributed By Megumi Yamaguchi, Young Women general board
- Every year for Christmas, the Yamaguchi family purchases and wraps hundreds of socks for missionaries serving in Japan.
In Japan, New Year is more celebrated than Christmas. There is no holiday for Christmas, and Christmas Day is another ordinary working day.
However, for the Christmas season, the town is beautifully decorated with many lights and you hear Christmas songs. People enjoy Christmas cake after dinner.
In my family, we have a family tradition. We give pairs of socks to all the missionaries in our mission area.
The tradition started more than 30 years ago when my mother started a business. My father owns a small wholesale business with socks and other merchandise. Back then, we lived in my father’s office building, but we decided to buy a house close to church. At the same time, my oldest brother started going to a private university.
Since my brother’s education and our house mortgage were expensive, my mother decided to work to support family finances. In the first year, she was blessed with more than we needed, and she wanted to do something in return for the Lord. Therefore, she suggested my father give pairs of wool socks to the elders and warm tights to sister missionaries. Since then, when Christmas season comes close, my father brings big boxes of socks and tights from an overseas manufacturing plant on his business trip. I love seeing him carry big boxes of socks because it makes me feel like Christmas.
We wrap hundreds of pairs of socks together as a family. It takes several hours. Not only is our small living room filled with pairs of socks, but also our small hearts are filled with joy and excitement as we imagine missionaries’ smiles with the socks.
As we give missionaries socks, they write us thank-you cards and send us their pictures. One time, a missionary sent us a card enclosed with an old worn-out sock with holes. The card said, “The pairs of socks you gave me saved my feet from being cold with the worn-out socks.”
My parents sent socks to the missionaries in my mission also when I was a missionary. I served in the northern part of Japan, which had much snow during wintertime. I was really happy to see that the feet of my companions and other missionaries were warmer with the socks and tights.
Christmas socks keep us closer as a family, bring us joy and happiness, and are a token of our gratitude to God.