Yuletide Windows of Heaven

Yuletide Windows of Heaven

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

Yuletide Windows of Heaven

Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

Heb. 6:14

Christmas of 1994 was going to be small. My husband had been in the hospital for more than a month, and I was a stay-at-home child-care provider in Prescott, Arizona, where we lived. But I was spending much of my time in Santa Barbara, California, sleeping next to my husband’s hospital bed, while friends helped out with my regular daycare children.

I had purchased a few Christmas gifts for our two small daughters, but without my income we wouldn’t have money for more. As Christmas approached, my husband was able to come home for the week, but we knew he would have to return to Santa Barbara right after Christmas.

I received a phone call from my bishop, who wanted to know what the ward could do to help with Christmas. I told him that we would be fine—that I had purchased a few things ahead of time. Soon after that I received a call from the Relief Society president asking what sizes my daughters wore and what we needed or wanted as a family. She told me that someone in the ward wanted to be our “Secret Santa.” I felt funny accepting the idea, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

I resumed watching my usual daycare children, and when payday came, I found out that some of the friends who had helped me out had asked the families to pay me instead of them. I called them to say thank you, but told them I would be sending the money to them. Each responded with, “We want you to have a merry Christmas. Please let us serve you.”

On the Sunday before Christmas, we attended tithing settlement with our bishop. I hadn’t been home all month, so I needed to pay all of our tithing for the month that day. I struggled with the idea that I could pay double next month and use this money for Christmas, but I felt I should be thankful for all the love we had been shown and pay my tithing then. I handed the bishop our tithing envelope. He put it down and, without opening it, handed me a check. He explained that several families in the ward wanted to make sure we had a merry Christmas.

I thanked him with tears in my eyes, and then I l ooked at the check. The amount of the check was 25 percent more than the tithing I had just paid! I felt so overwhelmed.

The blessings didn’t stop there. On Christmas Eve, one of the elder’s quorum counselors stopped by with a huge box of food. He said they had decided to use their small budget to purchase Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Later, one of the sisters in the ward stopped by with some “leftover gifts” from the ward party; among them were several wrapped gifts for the girls. That night as we were getting ready for bed, the doorbell rang. I opened the door to find a huge box of wrapped gifts for the girls. The pile under the tree had grown so big!

As we were putting the gifts out, my eight-year-old daughter looked at me and asked, “Why does everyone feel sorry for us?” I looked at her, and all I could say was, “They don’t feel sorry for us—they love us.”

It ended up being the best Christmas I’ve ever had. I felt so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful and caring ward.

Lori Amavisca

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