A couple weeks ago we had a womens leadership meeting at my church. We were discussing what we want to accomplish as a church with our in house single Moms during the Christmas season.
One of the ideas we came up with was a “giving tree.” I am sure most of you have seen these at grocery stores and such. It is a tree with paper ornaments on it. Each “ornament,” has a name on it and a wish list. They are usually for children who live in childrens homes. These kids usually have no contact with their families and will never know who the person blessing them was. However, it is a HUGE blessing to these kids.
We have decided to do it with the single parent families in our church. Each of these kids will make a “wish list” card and someone from the church will pick a child and fulfill their wish list.
I think this is an awesome thing, and I have had a personal experience with it. When I was about 14/15, I lived in a childrens home. I had no contact with my Mother for months. Christmas rolled around and I was only 1 of 3 kids left in the cottage. All the other children were able to go home to be with their families. I was very sad and confused.
However, on Christmas morning, there were presents under the tree for me! Every item that I had put on MY wish list was there. I was SO happy. It is the most memorable Christmas experience I ever had because someone cared enough to go beyond their own wants and care for a stranger.
Now, back to our meeting…
While we were discussing our plans, our pastors wife shared what they did one year with their daughter. She told us how their daughter grew up with lots of privileges and never really lacked for anything. So, they decided that one year they would not exchange presents. Yes, you read right, they were not going to give her any gifts. Instead, she was going to use the money they would have spent and buy gifts for needy children.
Well, of course you can imagine what people in their church thought and said…I mean this was outrageous. Not to mention what their daughter was thinking and feeling. LOL!
Fast forward several years later when their daughter became an adult…she shared with her Mother how THAT was the BEST Christmas she ever had!
So, I leave you with these questions to ponder…
Do your kids REALLY know the meaning of Christmas? Do they know the great gift of Jesus Christ given to them? Are others…OUTSIDE your family…the priority? Do we take the time to realize that while we are shopping for ipods, clothes, jewelry and toys that there are MANY who will have NOTHING under the tree if they even have a tree?
CHRISTmas is NOT about getting gifts or piling a ton of them under the tree for our kids. It is about a savior who was born to save a dying world. It is about love. Loving others MORE than ourselves. Loving those who are dirty and poor and OUTSIDE of our family unit and comfort zone.
Aren’t you glad that God GAVE?