Each year during the Christmas season, our family finds someone in need and plays Santa to them. It is sort of a tradition that we started years ago to celebrate the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. This year is no different, except for the fact that the entire family will be here to enjoy the experience of the "Blessing".
Sometimes, a family just presents themselves to us or someone has a suggestion; this year, our church took names of families who were struggling. Robby went to the church to see about getting one of these families for our family to send a Christmas blessing to. He returned home with a letter written by a single mother that simply touched our hearts. And I mean all of our hearts, for as each person read the letter, it became more evident that the blessing would be the one WE received from giving to this family.
This year would be different in several way. First, we had a letter in our hand with names of real people and their wish lists. The other thing that would be different would be the fact that Robby called all of the children and requested that we ALL have a shopping and gift wrapping day together to buy for this family. And finally, we have never really met the people we have given to before; it has always been anonymous. The plan was to contact the mother, tell her we had her letter and Christmas Wish List and then set up a time to take her the presents. Oh...and that was the other part; we would ALL (as a family) travel to this family's home to deliver the packages.
Upon reading the letter and list, one could not help but be touched. The mother was very concerned about putting food on her table, instead of making a wish list for herself. However, she followed the instructions given to her by the church and made a small list for herself and had her children do the same. Robby handed the list over to me and I could sense that he was observing me read it. Looking up and into his eyes, he knew..."We're getting them everything on their lists, aren't we?", he asked. "Absolutely", I said. Next, we had to contact the mother and set up a time to give her the presents. Robby called and before I knew it, he was saying, "Here, talk to my wife." As I reached over to take the phone from him, I noticed that he had tears in his eyes. The lady was very overwhelmed and so overcome with joy, that she had begun to cry; thus causing the chain reaction on our end of the line. I set up a time to meet with her and told her that WE were the ones who were privileged to be able to do this for them. This year's project was already becoming a BLESSING.
My kids were coming in for the holidays from every different direction; Natchitoches, Texas, New Orleans and Mississippi. I knew they were all weary from work and school, however, upon hearing about our plans, EVERYONE was "In"! The plan was to all meet at our house on Saturday morning early, since we had a big day ahead of us. Well, that plan didn't work very well (remember, we are dealing with 9 people here...), so we ended up meeting at Target; THAT is where our "shopping adventure" began.
Moving from store to store, I watched as our children got REALLY involved in searching for items on the "Wish Lists". I was glad that Robby had invited everyone to participate in our Christmas giving tradition this year. It was my hope and prayer that this experience would be a humbling one for everyone involved. "Giving" to others also means "giving up". How is that you may ask. To "give" to others allows us to "give up" some of our selfishness. In a world that is "all about me"...it is very important to lose some of that. For it is NOT all about me; it is about what I can do for OTHERS.
So, as I sit here, my children are just beginning to trickle in. We are meeting again this evening to make the trip out together to deliver the packages to this precious family. Stay tuned for "Part 2" of "It Really IS More Blessed To GIVE Than Receive..." You will definitely want to find out about the "Blessing" that WE received from the "Gift" of this very special family God has provided for us this Christmas season.