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January 13, 2011

About five years ago I was reunited with a friend from my high school years…THAT is an amazing story that will come some other time. During one of our first visits she shared her Christmas family tradition of gift giving…1 need, 1 want, and 1 surprise. This helped them remember the journey of the 3 magi and that we as humans have gifts that God desires through our relationship with him.

My husband, children, and I have adopted the same tradition. Christmas in our home is time to rest and be with each other and share with each other. It’s a time that I treasure.

This past Christmas was the most meaningful Christmas I’ve had in my life. It was clear to me that my family knew me and loved me. We are always trying to avoid the message that Christmas is about getting things…it’s not about Santa’s rewards for be nice. Christmas is a time for us to take time to remember Christ’s birth when God came to live WITH us. It’s an amazing time of year. Stories of St. Nicholas are beautiful reminders of how we can give to others to help them (“he” leaves surprises in our stockings too). My family followed this practice this year. Every person that gave to me had purposefully supported a local artisan, a charity, or my canning rituals. With each package I opened I glanced toward my husband in shock…my family knows what I value. It made my Christmas a form of communication of love instead of people checking things off of my list.

My Christmas season continues…a student brought by a gorgeous loaf of bread for my family and a pair of warming stockings that are made with sustainable materials by someone who is not a slave in the clothing industry. Because of this student and her vision for a spirit of giving year round, I have also committed to send something handmade to people throughout the year.

This year I learned that Christmas is a time that we are blessed to have so that we can intentionally rest and reflect on God’s gifts. This time should then guide us as we share with others in a way that honors God as well as those who we give to and purchase from.

I am thankful for this time to remember that God came here to live with us and for us…to model for us the love He calls us to.

May we find peace and joy in our giving of our gifts…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    January 13, 2011 10:14 pm

    thank you.

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