The Gifts I Already Have


One December, a couple of weeks before Christmas, our ward Relief Society held a “home tour” during which we visited some of the sisters’ homes and learned about some of their Christmas traditions, crafts, decorations, and ideas.

I had looked forward to attending, hoping that I could bring some ideas home with me to enrich my own family’s Christmas celebration. But as we toured the homes, my feelings gradually changed. I began, unconsciously, to compare my own home, decorations, and possessions with those I saw—and to feel depressed about what I didn’t have. I began to wonder whether I should get a full-time job and leave my two preschoolers with a baby-sitter so that we could afford a larger home and nicer things.

By the time I reached home, I felt quite unhappy. As I walked up to the door, I paused momentarily in an attempt to adjust to the contrast of our home compared with those I had visited.

But I had scarcely opened the door when a small, warm bundle wrapped his arms tightly around my leg. Another small figure rushed at me from the kitchen, her eyes sparkling as she waved a picture in the air, exclaiming, “Mama, I’ve got a present for you!” I looked toward the couch, where my husband sat. He gave me a warm smile, and all my comparisons ceased.

The lump in my throat was too large to swallow. I knew that I had just received a great gift—the marvelous realization that I already had many precious blessings: a loving husband, two beautiful children, and a happy home.

[photo] Photography by Longin Lonczyna

Pat Hochstettler serves as Home and Family Education teacher and as newsletter editor in the Smithfield Seventh Ward, Smithfield Utah North Stake.