6th Day Christmas Past Question & Story

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Christmas Past 2014, Uncategorized | 9 comments

4th-Christmas-Past-Logo-webOn the 6th Day of Christmas Past, a tiny Weihnachtsbaum.

Question:  A few weeks before Christmas, what childhood birthday present became a symbol to Sis. Harriet Uchtdorf (wife of Pres. Deiter F. Uchtdorf)?

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The Christmas Tree
By Harriet R. Uchtdorf

World War II had just ended, and most people in Germany had very little food or money. My birthday was coming up just a few weeks before Christmas. I did not expect to receive any Christmas or birthday presents, knowing quite well—even as a young girl—that our parents were struggling to meet our basic needs. In our big city, hunger was always present. It was a sad and dark time.
On the day of my birthday, to my surprise and delight, a wonderful present—just for me—was placed on the kitchen table. It was the most beautiful present I could have imagined: a tiny little Weihnachtsbaum, a Christmas tree, just one foot (30 cm) tall, covered with delicate handmade ornaments of tinfoil. The tinfoil reflected the light of our living room in an enchanting way. As I inspected the tinfoil ornaments, I realized with amazement that they were filled with small pieces of caramelized sugar. It was like a miracle. Where did my mother get the tiny evergreen tree, the tinfoil, and the rarity of sugar?
To this day, I do not know how she made this miracle happen at a time when none of those precious things was available. It remains in my heart as a symbol of my parents’ deep love for me, as a symbol of hope, love, and the true meaning of Christmas.
During the Christmas season, we still have in our home a Christmas tree, now decorated with electrical lights and ornaments of every variety. When we are together with our children and grandchildren, the beauty of the tree and the sparkling lights warm my heart and bring back sweet memories of a happy family moment that came from a tiny tree with shiny tinfoil ornaments.

Challenge:  Make something for someone this Christmas that could remain in their heart as a symbol of your deep love for them.

Taken from: Harriet R. Uchtdorf, “‘Der Weihnachtsbaum’: Memories Linger of Small Tree,” Church News, Dec. 12, 2009, 11.

    9 Comments

  1. A tiny little
    Weihnachtsbaum, covered with delicate handmade ornaments of tinfoil.

  2. Sister Uchtdorf received a tiny wiehnachtsbaum, a christmas tree, with homemade tin foil ornaments with caramelized sugar candies in them. Gifts that are given with sacrifice and love are the bests gifts that are given.

  3. She received a tiny Christmas Tree, adorned with tiny ornaments made of tin foil-wrapped caramel liked sugar. It was like a Christmas Miracle for her.

  4. Sister Uchtdorf’s “miracle” birthday present of a tiny Christmas tree was to her a symbol of hope, love, and the true meaning of Christmas. Even the smallest of gifts can help us know of the love and sometimes sacrifice that others make for us.

  5. She received a tiny Christmas tree with tin foil ornaments. When times are truly difficult isn’t it amazing the miracle a tiny gift can be. It doesn’t see so tiny – it does bring hope and joy and the memory lasts forever!

  6. The tree may have been the symbol with the simple tinfoil ormaments. But what really warms her heart to this day is the warmth of love and giving of that one special birthday so long ago. That same gift of love and charity our savior gives to us. This is the true spirit of Christmas.

  7. She received a tiny Christmas tree, but she also received a confirmation of her mother’s love and of God’s love for her and her family.

  8. When I was a child, my mother was poor and worked hard to just provide the necessities. I was told that we received gifts through Sub for Santa. The blessing in my child’s mind was that Santa always remembered me and I didn’t realize I was poor.

  9. Sister Uchtdorf received a little Christmas tree given to her on her birthday by her parents. With serious post-war conditions plaguing every family, the little Christmas tree was indeed, a “miracle”. The gift of giving and the awe of receiving are truly gifts of love. Simple expressions of the heart and unselfish acts of love, are precious to those who give them and those who receive them. The Savior taught, “love one another as I have loved you”-the true meaning of Christmas.

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