This was a smaller Christmas for my family. It has been a hard 6 months financially since Todd lost his job. I wanted my children to really understand how blessed they were this season and I created opportunities for them to see that. Well I tried to at least.
First our family helped serve meals at an inner city church. We all loved this. It was so much fun and my kids enjoyed interacting with other people. I will say though that my children didn’t see this as any different than when we eat dinner at our church on Wednesday nights. They just didn’t realize the difference.
The second opportunity was to deliver presents and food to one of our churches adopted angel tree families. We have done this in the past and enjoy delivering the giant boxes that are always well received. This one really didn’t work out the way that I intended.
To understand why, you must first understand where my head was at. I was really struggling this holiday season with guilt. I LOVE giving big Christmases. This is probably from growing up truly poor (single mom with 5 kids.) We didn’t have a lot of stuff, but my mom always gave it her all at Christmas time. I have always done the same with my kids. Of course my children have never went without and have more stuff than all the children in my old neighborhood combined.
Still I knew this Christmas we just couldn’t get them all the things on their wish lists. I also knew that my brothers and sisters were getting them less too. So I have been prepping them for it since October. Looking back, maybe I was prepping myself for it.
Todd worked at a book fair this year so we got lots of free books. I bought the boys inexpensive things like art supplies and cheap games. They had quite a few presents under our tree. I still was feeling sad and worried about them being disappointed though. I knew this Christmas didn’t look like our others and it certainly felt different.
Last Monday we finally were able to connect with the single mom in our angle tree family. This mom worked every evening at the mall in one of those ear piercing kiosks. It ended up that the boys weren’t able to help deliver as they had school. I thought, “Great! Another holiday plan that backfired!”
We went and delivered. This family had very little furniture. They had just moved. They had a tree with no ornaments and no presents. The kids were clean, but wearing tattered clothing. In the living room the mom had put the kids school work all over the walls. Through our conversation I could tell how much this mom loved her children and was willing to go the extra mile for them.
Walking into my house and seeing the presents under our tree, I realized that this lesson wasn’t mine to teach my children. Rather I felt that the Lord was teaching and reminding me. I am VERY blessed. My children are not going without. They may not have gotten everything on their wish list, but they were so happy with what they got. We have a home. I have a good job. I have my husband and my children.
Thank you Lord for the blessings you have served me so abundantly, and for reminding me of them.