My favorite Christmas story this year is “The Giving Manager” by Allison Hottinger. The story is about a little family who changed the way they gave gifts for Christmas. On the first of December, the father presents his children with a small wooden manger. He explains how they would not be giving gifts to each other but to Jesus through service, and every time they did something for someone else they could put a piece of straw in the manager. On Christmas, the tiny manger was full of service hay and the children receive a small baby Jesus to put in the manager. The father tells his children, “Baby Jesus had no crib for a bed, but you gave him this manger filled with love instead.”
I love this tender little story. For me, it was the perfect reminder of how I can give to the little Christ child. By focusing on others with service and love I can fill my heart with love and the Christmas spirit and be prepared to celebrate the birth of my Savior by being more like Him. I love my Savior with all my heart, and I know that in my life even when I feel like there is no room in the inn and I cannot see the answers that He will always provide a way. He will not leave me comfortless. And like the baby Jesus who was able to fall asleep on the hay, and like the service hay in the story, my peace often comes from the love and service of others around me.
Post by Ashley