Friday, December 17, 2010

A New Kind of Christmas

As soon as my kids were old enough to understand the concept of receiving presents, I approached every Christmas with the plan to keep the amount of presents to a reasonable amount. It somehow always seems to grow a bit out of control, though! What parent doesn't love to buy gifts for their children? The result was a bit sickening. My kids get to the end of Christmas day and don't even care what's in the box, they just think there's more presents coming and they're entitled to anything left under the tree. That attitude is so far from the one I want Christmas to encourage in my daughters; the attitude I know Christ wants to see in them as a result of His miraculous birth so many years ago.
So, not only did we scale WAY back this year, but we decided to focus on someone else for a change. I suggested to my sisters-in-law on Rich's side that maybe we should sponsor a needy family or something instead of buying presents for the nieces and nephew. It was decided that we would all three families look on our own for a family to sponsor, buy presents and other needed items, and document the experience to share with one another. I don't know what else I expected, but God has already done amazing things through our endeavors. My sister-in-law in the Chicago area shares that after buying a few toys for "Toys for Tots", she stumbled upon a coworker in a great need this Christmas. She got help from others and they are putting together clothes and presents for this coworker and her daughter. This sister-in-law is bursting with joy! How much more exciting than simply adding another present under the tree for our very privileged children? Not to mention a wonderful teaching experience for our kids that will last much longer in their memories than any toy we could buy them.
So our family decided to inquire with Avery's school counselor about perhaps helping a needy family within our school. We went shopping as a family to pick out presents and then wrapped them together.

We delivered these gifts to school, along with a bag of groceries and it felt so good! Of course, I couldn't pass up a chance to share the love of my Savior and wish the family the peace of knowing Christ in a cute little Christmas card :) James 2:15 says, "If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?" I hope this is just the beginning of my children learning to put feet to their faith, and I pray that the family we were able to bless this year would be much more touched by the love of a Savior, than a few simple gifts at Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of finding families to sponsor! What a neat idea!

    I run into the problem also of wanting to buy so many things for my kids, because I can think of so many things they would love.

    This year, trying to save money in our December budget, I started Christmas shopping months ahead of time, buying little things whenever I was out and about with no kiddos. Problem was, I lost track of how much I had actually purchased. I was cleaning under my bed a couple weeks ago and found a box of hidden gifts I had completely forgotten about buying! How awful is that?

    I had way more than my girls needed and I was planning to just put the extra stuff in the attic to save for future occasions. But then a friend posted today on Facebook about a family with kids who had lost everything in a house fire. I was able to donate these un-needed toys, plus a bunch of kids' clothes, to a family who really needed them this Christmas. I was so glad this opportunity came up!