It's starting too look like Christmas here. Still no snow, but the lights are up, and the tree is decorated. I've made up several fresh wreaths, and the smell of pine that comes from them is intoxicating. :) But truly, Christmas is not something we unpack from a box of decorations. It's not something we bake with sugar and sprinkles. It is a GIFT.
It is the reminder of God gift, Christ, and in Him, Salvation. So in this season of giving, we give, of ourselves, of our talents, of our time. We are endeavoring to show that to our kids. I want them to see past the mall santa, and the toy commercials, and get into the spirit of giving...
So this year we participated in Operation Christmas Child. Wyatt exclaimed as we walked out, "When will I get a shoebox?" I am reminded that this self-centeredness comes very naturally, and that it will take lot of practice for my 5 year old to see beyond his own wants, to the needs of others.
"Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it."
This week we went shopping and made little care packages for some missionaries our church supports. Wyatt was a little less self centered when we talked about what to send the missionary boys who were his age. He began to get excited about thinking of giving them joy. Of course, my favorite part of that project was the look on the face of the clerk at our tiny post office when I said I had packages for Germany, Slovenia, and Peru!
Emma and Mayda shared their talents in the Christmas program at church. Emma was thrilled to portray Mary, and to sing a solo. Mayda was terrified to have a short line to recite, but she memorized it and did very well. Wyatt was a shepherd and Tyler was (for the very first time) too old to be in the program. That made me feel a bit old! Sharing our talents for the Lord is always a pleasure.
Then we went back to grandma's room to help with her Christmas cards, but had to pause to step out into the hall and enjoy the carolers who come through. This is what Christmas is all about. Taking a moment to give of yourself, of your talents and gifts, and to share! I hope we can keep it going all through the year. :)
"What if December looked different this year?
What if we all just
Give this Christmas away
If there's love in your heart
Don't let it stay there
Give this Christmas away
And your life will be changed
By the gift you receive
When you give this Christmas away"
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