When my oldest son, Eric, was a senior in high school, he wanted to give his family gifts for Christmas. He had little income, so he decided on a gift of the heart.
For each family member Eric made a list of the 10 things he would miss most about him or her while he was at college and on his mission. His lists were rolled up like scrolls and tied with ribbon.
At Christmas we opened our gifts with great enthusiasm and curiosity. My list included things like “Watching her try to use the computer” and “Her hugs.” It must have taken him a long time to think of 10 things for each of us. I cried, his brothers laughed, and his only sister cherished her list. It still hangs on the door of her room today, three years later.
Now as Eric serves a mission in Guatemala, we wanted to send him something different for his last Christmas before returning home. Each of us wrote our own version of the present he gave us three years ago. We titled them “Ten Things I Have Missed Most about Eric While He’s Been on His Mission.”
For some of us it was easy. Eric’s brothers had a hard time but finally finished. It was a great project for family home evening, and we all laughed and cried as we thought of our 10 things. What a great family tradition we’ve started and hope to continue as our other children leave for college and missions.
I will never forget this gift from a busy son who thought to make a gift that would make a difference. We are grateful we were able to receive this from him.