Students catch giving spirit



    Although many “Scrooges” still exist in the world, many BYU students are full of the “giving spirit” of Christmas.

    Many BYU students make Christmas time a season of serving others and giving of themselves. By working at a local food bank, gathering gifts for a needy family or just singing Christmas carols to others, students look forward to the holiday season as an opportunity to serve.

    Joseph Farnsworth, 23, a junior from Orem majoring in psychology, said when he serves others he remembers what Christmas is all about.

    “I feel like I’m doing something Christ would do and it helps me to feel less selfish and remember the true meaning of Christmas,” Farnsworth said.

    One of the most popular ways to serve others during Christmas is to do a “sub-for-Santa” activity. Many students are quick to remember past years when they helped collect and deliver Christmas presents to those in need.

    Heather Hiatt, 21, a senior form Eureka, Calif. majoring in humanities, still remembers a Christmas when she was only nine years old.

    “We got a bunch of toys and dropped them off for a needy family in our ward that had a lot of kids. I felt good,” Hiatt said.

    Matt Walker, 19, a freshman from Boise, Idaho with an undeclared major, said people in need receive the “sub-for-Santa” help with gratitude.

    “I thought that they’d be embarrassed because it was awkward for them to take the stuff, but it turned out … they were gracious about it,” Walker said.

    Another popular form of Christmas service among BYU students is “the twelve days of Christmas.” In this activity, a treat or gift is left at someone’s doorstep each of the twelve days preceding Christmas. Amanda Toskovich, 20, a junior from Randolph, N.J. majoring in recreational management said it was fun secretly brightening others during the holidays.

    “You get to be a part of it, but you’re not taking all the credit,” Toskovich said. Carolyn Naegle, 19, a sophomore from Pleasanton, Calif. majoring in nutritional science, said her family gives sack lunches to the homeless


    “It’s neat to see their faces because they’re so surprised that people are thinking of them during the holidays,” Naegle said.

    Many opportunities to serve can come within the family unit. Kent Curtis, 26, a senior from Springville majoring in political science, said one Christmas he bought a really nice present for his little sister.

    “I wanted my little sister to have a talent, so I went out and bought a nice guitar. I labeled it ‘from Santa,’ my parents didn’t even know who it was from” Curtis said.

    Students who serve during the holidays all agree the spirit of service is the solution to avoid being a scrooge.

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