Tuesday, November 26, 2013

LDS BOOK REVIEW: 12 Gifts for Christ by Merrilee Boyack


Christmas is a time for celebrating the birth of Christ and a time for giving. In the middle of this busy season, it is easy to forget the very reason why we celebrate. The first Christmas began with gifts of light and gold. This Christmas, ask: What gifts can I give to Him?

In 12 Gifts for Christ, author Merrilee Boyack suggests ways we can give to the Savior, including having gratitude, sharing through service, and loving others. With examples of these gifts shared through personal stories, scriptures, activities, and family home evening lessons, she suggests presenting those gifts to Christ in letters placed in stockings or brightly wrapped boxes. Following the ideas of this book will truly add joy to the spirit in our hearts and homes during Christmas!


Merrilee Boyack is a crazed woman who loves eating out and taking naps when she can. She is an estate-planning attorney who conducts her law practice from home. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in business management—finance, and from University of Santa Clara Law School. Merrilee is also a professional lecturer, featured for many years at BYU Education Week, and a published author. Her interests include reading, camping, talking, eating, and helping children in Africa. She’s now a pesco-vegetarian and is having to relearn how to cook!

She is the author of several books and talks, including The Parenting Breakthrough, Strangling Your Husband Is Not an Option; Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy; and her most recent, In Trying Times, Just Keep Trying. Merrilee and her husband, Steve, reside in Poway, California, and have four sons, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way!


Boyack presents twelve 'gifts' that followers of Christ can give him, not only at Christmas but throughout the year.  Each of the twelve gifts that she mentions, she discusses briefly followed by ideas for personal study, a family devotional and family home evening ideas. She starts with the importance of developing personal knowledge of the Savior and how to do it through the scriptures and words of the prophets and those who knew/know him best. She goes on to discuss the importance of gratitude, remembrance, repentance, obedience, emulation, charity, forgiveness, faithfulness, love, healing balm, and joy.

What a beautiful book about how we as believers can give back to the One who gives so much to us. I hope to implement some of these ideas in my life during the Christmas season and throughout the year. I appreciated her ideas for sharing these ideas with a family. Highly recommended for those who want to make Christ more of a part of their celebrations during the Christmas season and throughout the year.  Some of the ideas relate specifically to Christmas, some are more general, all are worth considering.

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