Good morning! Welcome to the 4th and final week of Advent. Christmas Day is coming down the homestretch. Do you still have gifts to buy? Parties to plan? Are all your Holiday cards mailed? Is everything wrapped? Have you planned your menu for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day yet?
Is your head now spinning?????
On Friday evening something seemingly trivial happened that has stayed with me all weekend and I want to share it with you. It completely discredits the above madness. Rob received -- in his own words -- "the coolest gift ever." This is, of course, a 5-year-old's opinion that turned out to be a priceless statement in more ways than one. Okay, let me start from the beginning.
My dad came over and I cooked dinner for him. He is not going to be in town for Christmas, so we went ahead and visited, ate, and exchanged presents. He had previously warned me that he was gifting Rob something that he was certain no one else would. Rob received a mid-sized Rubbermaid plastic storage tub 90% full of loose change. That's right: pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, 50-cent pieces, and even Canadian $2 pieces. It probably amounts to a couple of hundred dollars or so. Rob thought he had just been given millions of dollars! For a split second I thought that Rob was confused and disappointed. That saddened me for my Dad. (I am a horrible gift giver. I can't relax. I always want to give the PERFECT gift.) But then Rob looked up and announced it was "The coolest gift ever." Score!
Over the next week and beyond, I will likely write about the toys my kids receive and love, the parties we host and/or attend, the exhaustion from post-hustle and bustle, and more. So if I don't do it again, I wanted to say for the record, "Thank you, God, for giving us the coolest gift ever." If it weren't for the gift of Jesus, we would not have Christmas. We may be celebrating Winter Treasure Day, Winter Solstice, or Hanukkah. But there would be no CHRISTmas. It is so easy to forget why we have this holiday.
My dad's gift represented small daily sacrifices of dropping pocket change into a tub. He consistently did that and then generously and selflessly recognized that his grandson would love the gift. (He also knew that someday his grandson would want to go to college and his daughter would responsibly put that change into savings...but that's another story.) Maybe he didn't fully realize the impact of his actions, but this gift represents what God gave us so many years ago -- Sacrifice, Consistency, Generosity, and Selflessness.
Please enjoy the Holidays. Enjoy the presents and the parties. Endure the shopping. Blog all about it, because I love reading it. But I encourage you in your own ways to remember why we all do this.