my wife seems to think that she has very little to say that is significant. that, of course, is far from the truth. whereas i spew forth my thoughts far too often on my blog, she blogs infrequently. so when she does, you know she probably has something important to say. today, over on the babybyrds blog, she shared some thoughts about what our family is doing for christmas and i thought it was worth sharing here. you can find her post here or read it below.
over the past several years, my feelings on christmas have begun to change. i love christmas. i mean, i really love christmas. it’s the happiest time of the year. my birthday is on christmas eve, which is when ryan proposed to me many years ago…i love christmas. i could listen to christmas music all year round…but then it would just get old, so i don’t.
i’m not going to rant and complain about how early people and businesses are putting up their christmas decorations…although it is a bit early. but i secretly enjoy it, so i can’t complain about it.
i would like to share my thoughts on how we’re doing christmas this year. over the past few years we’ve really limited the amount of gifts we’ve given our girls. i believe last year they each got 2 presents from us. and ryan and i haven’t gotten each other anything in years. now, this all was not by choice…it’s because we couldn’t afford it. we usually take the money we get for christmas and buy something we can all use or need. however, i’m glad this tradition kind of accidentally happened.
every year i’m amazed at the obsession with shopping. the ridiculous spending and just the greed. i was shopping for olive’s birthday present last weekend, and could barely get through the aisles…and it’s not even thanksgiving. i just don’t understand the “christmas shopping” phenomenon. it’s insane. what about christmas says that we must buy everyone we know 15 presents? i don’t know.
since lucy was born, we’ve always wanted to show our kids how we should help others in need. and not just at christmas time. and we haven’t always been able to or taken the opportunities. however, last year we helped feed the homeless at an emergency shelter…and my eyes were opened. this year, we’ve been given an opportunity, as a church, to feed the homeless group that gather under the broadway bridge in downtown little rock. we will be feeding them the 4th friday of every month. this friday will be our first time, the day after thanksgiving. and next month will be on christmas eve. which is my birthday, and i’m more excited about spending my birthday with a bunch of homeless people than i have been in years!
today i was telling lucy what we were doing, and that she can come and help us. i told her that these people didn’t have a home or food or anything really. and she immediately replied “can we give them our home?” and then she proceeded to work it out in her head that if we just had a bigger house, with a really long hallway, they could all stay with us 🙂 she got to hang out at the shelter last year with us and i know she’s picturing all the cots lined up in our “really long hallway.” and i wish we could. i wish we could do SO much more than we are doing. i also think it’s important for my kids to be a part of it first hand…how else will they learn. and the joy lucy and her friend, cash, brought to some of the people last year…priceless.
after some conversations at church, i realized that we have to make an effort to ignore the poverty and hurt that is right in front of our eyes. we were discussing the other night that unless you allow yourself to be face to face with these issues everyday…you’ll never do anything about it. there are people hurting, no matter how they got where they are. no matter whose fault it was…they are hurting. no matter how uncomfortable it is for you…it’s real. i know we can’t save the world. but we can do what we can do.
this year, as a family, we have decided to put our efforts towards helping those that have nothing. i’m even pursing another outlet for our family to help out in other ways. all that said, i am NOT perfect, and am guilty of over-spending and buying things i don’t need all the time. but i want my kids to know that christmas is not about presents. it’s about jesus. and jesus helped, and fed, and clothed, and healed people. and i want them to be jesus to people who have nothing else. it’s the least we can do.
if you’d like to join us, check out our blog at eikonchurch.com and feel free to come join us and help serve this friday!