It was just him and I on that dirt road.
I asked him if he knew how much I loved him, and his head turned down and that totally confident yet seemingly bashful smile took over his perfectly olive face.
He kinda chuckled under those rosy lips of his and said it all joy,
And it's oh so true. :)
It's a rarity that my boy and I get a chance to walk alone. But the idea of just us, frees him up, and he just starts talking to me and he doesn't stop till we get way down the road.
He tells me about his bike and how it works, about the kids at school, and how he fixed that broken wheel on his little brother's stroller (the one that I couldn't fix for the life of me) all by himself.
But then he starts in on Christmas.
And as I walked behind my six-year-old son and listened to the things on his heart, I could hardly believe my ears.
"Mom, I was thinking... Ya know, maybe we shouldn't open our gifts on Christmas Day this year. Maybe we could just spend this Christmas loving each other and giving gifts to Jesus. It is his birthday, right? So maybe on that day we can just do things for Him?"
I'm looking at him and I'm listening and I just can't seem to find words.
"Mom? Well, what do you think?"
My boy, he has no idea that I've been trying to figure out what I want Christmas to be for our family for a half dozen years now. He can't see my wondering how to create an atmosphere in our home that would allow our treasures to fall in love with the greatest gift of all, Jesus Himself.
And in a dust cloud behind his bike something starts to sink into this Mama.
Have I really forgotten?
Me, trying to create Christmas?
When did Christ himself lose His sufficiency. His glory?
When did I start believing something of the world and not of Christ?
I wanna learn not how to create Christmas...
But instead, how to live the gift of Christ.
Maybe this Christmas I can show the treasures how to give unto the least of these? How when we give to others we just might be giving to Christ Himself? How the best gifts don't come all wrapped up in paper and string, but maybe instead in the out-pouring of a servant life.
Maybe we can find the real joy of Christmas in watching the neighbors faces light up when the families from The Farm show up on their doorsteps with cookies and a whole slew of treasures singing carols at the top of their lungs?
Maybe we can really know the best gifts, by us, actually being the gifts to whomever He might bring our way?
I wanna shower my treasures with gifts this year. But not the kind of gifts you can find on a Walmart shelf but the kind of gifts that fill their hearts right up full.
Maybe gifts of strong words, words that are helpful for building them up?
Maybe some extra long hugs in the hall, or tickles all the way up the stairs into bedtime? Maybe some heart-felt prayers and a visible commitment to give them the very best of myself throughout these days together under this roof?
Because isn't love fully abandoned, the greatest gift we can give?
Together we're finding ways to really know and live the gift of Christ this season...
Ways to move from creating to living...
1. Whip up a batch of the easiest, most yummy Christmas cookies ever, and stick a little note inside...
'Taste and see that the Lord is good!' Jesus came! Merry Christmas!'
Give your singing voice a little tune-up and Deliver some carols and treats to the neighbors.
2. Gather a miniature Christmas tree, a pair of scissors & some ribbon.
Then print this free Jesse Tree book, Cut out the ornaments & tie on the ribbon. (And if you're feeling especially zealous you can wrap and number the ornaments.)
Finally gather the fam and get comfy around the fire. What a gift to journey towards the greatest gift of all together... Love come down.
3. Pick up a copy of this great book (And maybe this one too?) and gather on the couch with the treasures. Together, chat about the joy and the blessing of giving to others... How when we give to the least of these, we're really giving to Him... Spur them on int creating their own ideas for giving.
Then find an old cardboard box in the basement (or the barn :). And hand in hand with the treasures, encourage them to gather some of their toys, clothes, books, games and together make a Blessing Box. Lead by example, and Purpose to find some of your own stuff to put right in that blessing box.
(You and the treasures can take the box to a salvation army type store... OR... Often times you can take lightly used games or books to nursing homes and give the gift of time to some really amazing folks who genuinely enjoy your company.)
4. And if the giving becomes addicting (Like it usually does :) you can always make some kids around the world smile and help your kids live out being others-minded by filling up these boxes and dropping them off at a local distribution center.
Then don't forget to watch this video when you get home... And jump right into the joy!!! :)
5. More giving???
You can also order catalogs from this organization (and many others) and put one copy in everyone's stockings. On Christmas day (Maybe around the "Birthday Breakfast" table?) allow each family member to pick their own gift to give. Maybe on Christmas morning your family can buy a goat and provide some self-sustainability... or save a family from malaria with the purchase of a simple mosquito net? What a morning it would be, living the gift of Love Come Down??
6. Oh, and I LOVE this idea!
I wanna show our treasures with my life how to savor.
How to soak up the gift of Love come down.
And so we begin the season of Advent.
It's a month of falling in love, all over again, with the greatest of all great gifts... Christ. :)
Love this Christmas season! :)