The Gift of Giving

Dress: Bohme
Flats: F21
Belt: American Eagle

So, this dress is pretty tiny. BUT, it's also pretty cute. Also, thick, thick, tights, man. They're basically the perfect fail-safe to wearing shorter things. Also, this day was ridiculously windy and I forgot to take the elastic off my wrist, whoops, so pay no mind to my crazy hair and ratchet elastic. ;) Anyway, this Christmas season has been a pretty great one I must say. It's been a little harder feeling the Christmas spirit this year having to deal with homework and finals but now that the semester is over I've been able to stop and consider my feelings for this season a little more. In Relief Society last Sunday we were asked to think of some Christmas experiences and of times when we truly enjoyed giving. As I reflected on this I decided on the moment when I first truly felt the joy of giving. 

It was Christmas 2008 and I was 16 years old. Kind of old for my first time experiencing the joy of giving but I was sort of a selfish kid growing up so giving wasn't my forte. Not to mention that up until this point I had never actually had a job and therefore hadn't ever really had any income. I mean, I babysat and had my fair share of money from that but, like I said, I was a selfish kid and those earnings were always long gone by the time Christmas came along. Christmas 2008 was different, though. That year I had got my first job ever as a cashier at Chic-Fil-a. I don't know why this year I decided to finally use my earnings on loved ones and not myself, maybe that's when I finally started maturing and letting go of my natural man tendencies of selfishness. ;) I don't know what it was but that year I felt a change in my little Grinch heart and decided to get something special for each member of my family. I was giddy with excitement and instead of feeling bitterness at not getting myself all the things I desired, I felt such a joy at the prospect of giving something to my family. 

There was one particular person I was excited to give to, though. My older sister, Allison. Growing up we'd always been best friends, always, but our relationship had mostly consisted of her doing all of the service and giving and of me doing all of the receiving. Heck, she'd even gotten me the job at Chic-Fil-a. She did my phone interview and all. (See what an angel she is?) When I did my budgeting I set aside the largest amount of funds for her gift. It took me a little while to determine what I could possibly get her to show her how much I appreciated her friendship, service, love and most of all our sisterhood. 

After a week or so of contemplation I decided I would get her a heart shaped jewelry box we had seen together on a trip to the mall. I wanted to make it a little more special so I paid a little extra to have the center engraved with a quote I had found that expressed perfectly my feelings for her, "God made us sisters but our hearts made us best friends". I had never felt more excited at the prospect of giving. That year Christmas couldn't come fast enough and for the first time I wasn't excited by the thought of what I would be receiving but by the thought of what I would be giving. When Christmas finally did come, my heart was fit to burst with feelings of joy from seeing my loved ones, especially Allison, open up the gifts I had gotten them. I could finally truly understand the joy of Christmas. We celebrate the birth, life and death of the Savior through giving whatever we can, big or small, to loved ones in our lives as a way of showing our gratitude for His ultimate gift.

As my older sister, Allison has taught me sooo many things in life one of which was finding the joy in giving to others. She is such a light and example to me in my life and today my family and I celebrate with her her choice to go through the temple and receive her endowments. I couldn't feel prouder of her journey in life and where she is today. She is such an exemplary person and if I could be half the woman she is one day I would be proud. 

I hope you all have a happy Christmas and find the reason for the season! 

Much love!