21952_000_004This family Christmas tradition started on a doorstep and ended up in the mission field.
Every December since I can remember my family has bought a nativity set, and every year we give it away. As a family we decide who we will give it to. Usually we choose someone in our ward or neighborhood who does not have family in the area, or someone who may feel lonely over the Christmas season.
Twelve days before Christmas we begin delivering our gifts. Each night we secretly deliver one piece of the nativity set with a poem attached, starting with the camel. On Christmas Eve, we deliver the baby Jesus. We do not run and hide when we deliver this last gift as we do with the others. Instead we deliver this last piece with some goodies in person.
The best Christmas gift I get every year is seeing the happiness of the people when we give them the baby Jesus—the piece to complete their set. I always get a wonderful feeling inside when I deliver the nativity set with my family. I know the Lord is pleased with what I am doing.
Last year we chose a young couple who had moved into our ward from across the country. On fast Sunday after Christmas, the woman told how they had felt so alone being so far from their families. She also talked about how much it meant to her that someone had remembered them at that time of year.
My brother is on a mission right now, and last Christmas we sent him a nativity set so he could carry on the tradition even while he was serving. I really enjoy this family tradition. It is something that I plan to continue when I get married. I thank my parents for starting this tradition that helps us focus on the Savior and His birth.