Thursday, December 11, 2008

giving and getting JOY

So, the goal is less presents and more presence. And you may ask, how are we doing at that, approximately 2 weeks from the big day?

I will not lie.

Christmas is fun.

Part of the fun part of Christmas is the search for the "perfect" gift and spending time focusing and thinking about the recipient, imaging that the will enjoy what I give as much as I am enjoying getting it or making it for them.

Just to clarify - my hope was not to ward off all spending completely. Nor do I think that was what was being suggested by the Advent Conspiracy.

My goal was to change my thinking, and I expect that this change will produce different fruit. I am proud that I am doing much more thoughtful giving this year and I don't feel a compulsion to fulfill every need of every person on my list, which I have tried to do in years past.

But, the thing that I am most proud of is how my children are responding to these changes. In years past, I would buy gifts for certain people, my husband, Dad, In Laws, and have the kids sit with me while I wrapped them and told them "Ok, you are going to give Daddy this shirt. Do you like this? Do you think Daddy will like this? Do you want to give it to him?" For our children, this was essentially empty and meaningless.

This year, they are thinking for themselves.

They have been given a small budget which can be spent on anyone they'd like to give a gift to. They are generating their own list of who they are shopping for and they are picking out things that want to give. Noah and Hannah have really gotten into it. They have also essentially learned to wrap the presents by themselves. I don't know that I've heard them really talk much about what they want for Christmas. Occasionally, I will hear a worry that they forget to get something for a certain person, so we start thinking about the best type of gift for that person.

I can see JOY in their eyes as they consider giving.

I feel an overwhelming JOY knowing that they are really getting it.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

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