Today, we’re sharing a beautiful Christmastime testimony from Sister Cathy Genaro.
As young parents, my husband and I always tried to stress the importance of the “reason for the season.” Sometimes I would bake a cake, and we would sing “happy birthday, dear Jesus!” We enjoyed the traditional gift giving, festive food, lights, and decorations, but we always wanted our children to know that Christmas was about Christ.
One Christmas in particular, we were in a bit of a financial bind. I was a stay-at-home mom, and although my husband was working full time, we had a few substantial and unexpected expenses that prohibited us from our normal holiday shopping. We strived hard to live within our means without running up credit card debt.
Our children were 9, 12, and 14 at the time, so we explained that this year there would be only one gift each under the tree. My husband would get a bonus after the first of the year, so we promised the kids some January shopping to make up for the lean Christmas.
When we gathered on Christmas morning, each child opened one gift. Then we sat in a circle and began to pray, thanking God for His blessings. As a parent, you want to make your children feel special, but that Christmas, in spite of feeling spiritually blessed, I felt sadness in my heart. I thought that they would feel that this Christmas was very disappointing since there were so few presents under the tree.
Years later, as the children grew old enough to have jobs and buy gifts, we received a gift and a card from our son. I can’t remember the material gift, but I keep the card in my purse because his words were priceless! He thanked us for the greatest gift he ever received from us — raising him to know Jesus Christ. Then, to our astonishment, he wrote the following:
“The best Christmas I can ever remember is the one where we received only one gift and spent the rest of the morning in prayer, giving thanks unto God as we were all touched by the Spirit. I often ask myself how many other families would have found such great joy in such a time of struggle because on that Christmas we received gifts from the Lord … thank you for the gift.”
It has been over 20 years, but I still read that card from time to time. No material things can ever compare to the gift and blessings we receive from Jesus Christ our Lord!
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This article has undergone ministry review and approval.