Operation Christmas Child

I’m just going to say it. I’m not a fan of Christmas gifts. I understand the giving gesture to those we love however an overabundance of un-needed things just seems well, silly to me. Maybe because I thankfully come from a family and group of friends that have everything they already need. Another pair of slippers or bath and body works lotion set seems kind of pointless to me. So honestly, I don’t give Christmas gifts very often. And I have no shame in saying that. And if Jake were here with us-of course he would get a few things but not an entire tree full.

People are so stressed this time of the year, trying to find money out of nowhere, picking the right gift, finding time to shop then wrap, waiting in long lines at stores. Making sure they didn’t miss anyone of their 35 person gift list. It’s just not for me. And it’s not just this year, I’ve always felt this way. Don’t get me wrong, I have spoiled my nieces and nephews from time to time but only because they were young and wouldn’t be able to understand my views. And really, of course it’s fun to spoil others! Now that they are older, it’s much easier to explain the concept of giving versus receiving.

 The plain truth us, it’s not our day. It’s a holy day. It’s Jesus’s birthday. So why do we get presents? Shouldn’t we be finding more gratification in pleasing Jesus over the holidays, than our list of people to buy for? I try to practice what I preach each year. Each year I choose an organization or family in need to donate to. Kids that don’t get the newest game system every year because they most likely don’t have a TV or even electricity. Families that can’t afford even the basic of needs, toothpaste, new toothbrushes. Keep your eyes open, these families are all around you.

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This year we chose Operation Christmas Child. It was an easy choice. One of the nurses who took care of me while I was in labor with Jake headed up a big drive to get boxes filled. Perfect. I can show my gratitude for her by helping her fill some boxes and also give to two deserving children in need. I picked two boxes this year, keeping it simple knowing that filling them may bring some additional heartache after losing Jake. At that time, I didn’t know we would get pregnant and lose another baby again and have two babies to donate in honor of. But Jesus knew, so he put the choice of two boxes on my heart.

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Filling these boxes didn’t make me sad. It made me happy. If my babies were here, I would have taught them the importance of giving versus receiving. I felt like I could still set that example to them from below. And that felt good.

I don’t mean to offend anyone who loves to give gifts, it’s still a very beautiful and heartfelt gesture. And I’m not saying we are saints by holding back. I’m simply saying that on December 26…how do you feel? Relieved that it’s all over? Waiting in return lines? Or happy because a child that never gets gifts is somewhere in the world blowing bubbles or brushing their teeth for the first time?

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If you give this time of year to those in need, thank you. It’s so very important that we take care of one another. If money is too tight because you have too many other gifts to buy-I would reconsider those gifts. Are stocking stuffers necessary? That alone could fill an Operation Christmas Child box.

  “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.”

Acts 20:35

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