This is the paragraph that I want to use to justify myself by listing the ways my family has given this year. But I'm not going to do it. It's between my family and God. So, I'll fight the urge to try to prove to you that I really am holy and move right along.
The thing is I like to buy gifts for my kids. It literally makes me giddy. Christmas giving in our house isn't marked with extravagance, but we do stretch ourselves to give to good causes AND to give to our kids.
Filling their stockings excites me. I love finding little unique treasures for each child. Completely stuffing them until they are overflowing is always my goal. I love to watch them take it all in on Christmas morning. Their joy fills me up!
And the unholiest thing of all? We do Santa! This summer Morgan and Carah finally started asking questions about whether or not Santa was real. They are in fourth grade. Kyle and Esther figured out that Santa wasn't real earlier than their sisters, but Kyle and Esther are mathematicians and scientists. Morgan and Carah are artists and dreamers. But let me tell you, the deep love each one of my four precious kids have for Jesus often blows me away. In no way at all do I think telling my kids that Santa came into our house while they were sleeping, ate a plate of cookies, and left gifts for them betrayed them or made them think we were liars. In fact, I think it enhanced their imaginations, and allowed them to dream and get excited about something completely magical. We've told our kids that Santa will still visit as long as they don't start saying that Mom and Dad are Santa. Are you shuddering at my unholiness?
This week when I was practically skipping through stores shopping for stocking stuffers for my kids, I was hit with the delight that God must enjoy in giving gifts to us. If my joy can be made so profound in blessing my own kids, wouldn't God's joy be so much more? As my kids light up with the new pajamas or perfect little ornament Chad and I have picked out for them, my heart fills up. When I realize what God is giving me and enjoy His gifts like a child, doesn't He also love it?
Maybe it isn't ok in a wacky Christian sub-culture to say that I like to make, buy, and give gifts to my kids. Honestly, I'm totally ok with not fitting into that mold. This Christmas we will read the story of Jesus' birth many times. We will sing carols. We will read The Night Before Christmas. When the kids go to bed, Chad and I will put our Santa hats on and stuff stockings and lay out gifts for each child. When they wake up (waaay too early) we will watch them excitedly enjoy their gifts. And with love for our kids and worship towards our God we will enjoy giving good gifts to each of them!
Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to you?