One of my favorite up and coming authors, Ann Voskamp wrote this blog post the other day about not giving gifts to each other, but instead giving gifts to Jesus on Christmas.
Ok, let’s just be real for a minute. No Christmas gifts? None? Nada? Not even a couple dollar store gifts? Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Showing the love of Jesus by spending money we don’t have and giving my children toys and clothes and candy they don’t really need?
Is it? Really?
My world was a little bit shaken up by this challenge. To really and truly celebrate Jesus’ birthday by giving gifts to no one but Him? It was eye opening because when I really thought about it, our Christmas celebrations usually are a little bit backwards. We celebrate Jesus’ birthday by giving ourselves presents and other people presents but not the birthday boy? Caleb and Princess’s birthdays are coming up soon and I thought about that. What would happen if at their parties, everyone but Caleb and Princess got birthday presents. It made me sad.
And how much more, the Creator of the universe, the Healer of our hearts, the Savior of the world, deserves our gifts.
So I read the post again, emailed it to Pat and basically washed my hands of it. It’s really Pat’s decision to make so I’m not going to worry about it unless he’s on board.
A few days ago Ann posted another post about this same topic. This time sharing 10 things to do instead of opening Christmas gifts. Here’s the link to that post: Ten Things to do on Christmas Morning When all the Gifts are for Him.
And then she shared this video. And I wept.
Because I too heard God say to my heart, “What if that was Caleb? What if that was Angel? Holly? Timothy? Cody?”
And God says, “That’s MY Caleb. That’s MY Angel. That’s MY Holly and Timothy. That’s MY Cody.”
I want to be His hands. His feet. His heart. I want to be moved. I want to be different. But I’m selfish. I’m teaching my kids to be selfish. I want to see the joy on their faces on Christmas morning and for some reason I’ve convinced myself that the only way to see that joy is to give them gifts. I know I’m wrong. I know in my heart, well half my heart, that here is so much more joy to be found when, as a family, we serve and love and give to others together. And celebrate Jesus on His birthday.
I believe Lord. Help my unbelief. Because I’m not quite there yet.