My family has a tradition that the day after Thanksgiving we set up the Christmas tree and pull out decorations. So, following tradition, I pulled everything out and we spent the weekend decorating. Fortunately we live in a small apartment and our decorations consist mainly of a fake tree, half a dozen nutcrackers, and a string of lights. It takes like two minutes. It's amazing. We do have a nativity scene that my mother bought us when JC and I first married. The pieces are cylindrical, tall (about half a foot), and made of ceramic. It had been carefully stored away this past year but somehow, I guess between the move and everything our possessions have been through, the angel lost a hand. I have no idea where it went. My dad and I were talking and I told him about the angel's missing hand and his response was, "You know what that means, right? You are the hands."
We have an all-powerful Father in Heaven who knows each of us, individually. He knows our trials, our struggles, our hopes. But He works through us and the people around us. When we reach out to serve someone, we are allowing God to work through us. We become His hands. My dad had been quoting President Monson who said, "We are the Lord's hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to life His children. He is dependent upon each of us."1
Christmas is my favorite time of year; I believe many people share that sentiment. We just celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday where we give thanks for what we have. In a few weeks, we will celebrate the birth of our Savior. I can think of no better way to honor our Savior and to show gratitude than by losing ourselves in service to others.
1. "What Have I Done For Somebody Today?" - Pres. Monson October 2009 General Conference