As we are in the rhythm of the Christmas month, I'm stopping for a moment of reflection. Our sons have been commenting lately about how commercialized this season has become, and I have to agree. Just turn on the TV or radio, and watch--or listen. Walk into any retail store and be immediately assaulted with Christmas deals.
A Christmas without gifts?
We have exchanged gifts every Christmas I've been alive. Fernando and I have explained to the boys that it's a symbol of the gift that God gave to us in Jesus, God become man, to die for our sins. I don't have an issue with gift-giving at Christmas--after all, we have spent the whole month of November thanking the Lord for all the blessings He has bestowed on us, and entering the Christmas season naturally puts us in the mood to share tangible thanks with others.
But this year, we have much less money to spend. My sister-in-law was recently laid off. Our boys--the only children in the family--are all older (Thomas, the youngest, is 14), and they really don't want to make a "wish list" for Christmas. Most of the adult family members (and there are only seven!) agreed that too much effort and energy have been put into making lists, and searching for/purchasing/wrapping gifts for each other.
So we are doing something different this year. We "adopted" two needy families, and got together and bought gifts for them. One evening, eight of us tromped through Target, searching for things that each family member needed, and adding a little something special for each one.
Our family was so blessed to participate in this endeavor together. Although we won't be exchanging gifts on Christmas day, we agree that we've already received gifts galore from our Lord--a warm house, family, food on our table, clothing on our backs. Everything else is just a want. We are happy.
May the Lord's peace settle quietly deep in your heart during this advent season!
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captured by Christine Anne