The boys have been making a mental Christmas list for a while now. Everyone’s been asking what they want, giving them options, showing them pictures… all in good fun and the generosity of the holidays. Their lists are not long, and they’ve made some fun choices for gifts. We’ll see what Santa brings them!
A few days after their lists were made, we sat down at the table together, my sons and I, and we made a special Christmas list. We put on our thinking caps and focused on people we might know who could use something for Christmas, and how could we bless them with that item.
At first the list was pretty run-of-the-mill, with the boys thinking of presents that friends or family members would like. They did a great job of remembering what others had seemed interested in and how much fun they could have with the items.
Then I nudged them a little deeper. I reminded them that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday and what would He like for his birthday? Blank stares… Elijah thought we should make sure our gift was one that could easily be transported to heaven (what an absolute cutie my little boy is), so what was easily transportable? Josiah was quiet… he was wrapping his heart, his mind and his soul around the possibilities.
A little more nudging… I share with them about how Jesus asks us to take care of the widows, the orphans and the poor. I ask them if that might be the greatest gift we could give Him, if we bless others as He asks.
The ideas started flowing… Let’s start with the widows. Who do we know who is a widow and what would they like for Christmas? The named off a couple of people and suggested cards, baking, a meal out with us – our treat.
Now… what about the orphans? HHHmmmm…. no orphanages around here. No one we know who lacks both parents. What about World Vision? What about picking something from their Christmas catalogue? Yes, mom, what about a goat or a chicken? Smiles all around.
We move on down the list…. how can we bless the poor this Christmas? The favourite idea there was sending a shoe box through Operation Christmas Child. We headed upstairs to cross that item off our list immediately. We went online and filled a shoebox over the internet – all shoeboxes filled this way will go towards Haiti this year, and Haiti seems to hold a real special place in our hearts.
We choose a box for a boy aged 5-9. The boys take turns typing out a personal message to the boy who will receive our box. I upload a family photo and we pay for the box. Off it goes! We can picture the possibilities for our box and the boys who will one day soon hold it in his hands.
The special Christmas list is hanging on the fridge. There are still a few items to cross off, a few more blessings to spread around, a few more imaginary bows to put on the imaginary presents for Jesus this year.
Hopefully our gifts bring a smile to the baby in the manger.