The Gift

The Gift

Our family settled around the table for a discussion. I started off simply, saying, “Do you remember why we get presents at Christmas?”

“Because Jesus was given to us,” came the dutiful answer of the eldest.

“Yes, and we must learn not only to accept gifts with love–no matter what they might be–but we also need to learn how to give with love.” I pulled out a printout with the picture of a poor Asian mother, father and their children. “This year we are going to help this family.”

I reminded the children how the gifts of the Wise Men had helped Mary and Joseph, then I explained about the Christmas Critter Campaign and that we could give money to send animals to people in Asia who were in need. The children pulled down their piggy banks and sat at the table, counting every penny. Once we totaled up the year’s earnings, they clustered around me and we discussed what options they had: whether to help several families by donating small animals or one family by donating a bigger animal.

The youngest ones were so full of excitement as they thought of the people they could help, no thought to the toys or treats they might have bought with their money. The eldest was more conservative with her money, freely giving some, but keeping most for something she’d had in mind for months. I said she was not required to give anything, but that her generosity made Jesus very happy.

It was a proud moment as they all handed me their donations and I submitted the amount through the website. Afterward we paused a moment, wondering quietly at the lives we had touched and praying that something so small would make a difference to a family we would never meet. They happily went on with their day… a sweet sense of gladness coloring everything they did.


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