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OPINION: Christmas in Lehi brings reminders of charity

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I've always known Christmas brings out the best in people. Reflecting on this holiday, I remember acts of kindness and generosity I have observed over the years.

On one occasion, we were going to go to Salt Lake City to see Temple Square and the windows of several department stores. We decided to take TRAX rather than fight the traffic. We took our seats and surveyed the people sitting around us. One family caught my attention: a young mother with several young children. She looked tired and certainly not in a holiday mood. I noticed their clothing was worn and less warm than was needed on that brisk winter evening. I smiled at her, and she smiled back.

Sitting in front of the woman was a young man, not more than 18-20 years old. He was carrying a backpack and several books. I assumed he was a student. I watched him as he looked at the young mother. As the train stopped, the student got out of his seat and headed to the door to exit. Before he left, I watched him slide a $100 bill into the child's blanket, cradled in the mother's arms. I saw her expression as she noticed the money. I will always remember her reaction. She clutched the money and leaned back in her chair. A tear slid down her face.

The lights at Temple Square were beautiful, and we enjoyed the sacred nativity, but my heart was filled by the simple act of kindness from a young man who saw a need and came to a young mother's rescue.

During another Christmas, a recently widowed woman was sitting in her living room when two teenage girls knocked on her door. They had purchased a Christmas tree and ornaments. They proceeded to put the tree in a stand they had borrowed and put lights and ornaments on the tree. It didn't take the girls long to have the tree lit and decorated. The woman stood and admired the tree as the girls hugged her. The woman never forgot this Christmas and the two girls who thoughtfully brightened her holidays.

For the last several years, three teenage girls from Lehi have chosen some neighbors to be the recipients of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” They saved their money and purchased gifts, made cookies and other treats, and left the gifts on the porches of an elderly man and a woman whom they had come to know and admire. Each year, the tradition became increasingly exciting for these girls. They would quickly knock on the doors and run and hide, keeping their identity a secret. They lookforward to this tradition all year.

I love Christmas and the goodness shared by so many each year. In these times of incivility, division, and worldwide heartache, there is peace and generosity from exceptional people who celebrate Christmas by sharing love and kindness.

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