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Tis the Season to Give

familyDecorating the Christmas tree.  Baking cookies with friends.  Watching Christmas movies.  These are a few of our family’s favorite traditions during this season.

However, there’s one tradition we all truly look forward to.  We began doing this a few years ago and it has had a significant impact on our perspective of this season.

We volunteer.

Our church, Covenant Church at McKinney, hosts an annual event in which members volunteer to purchase gifts for over 300 children in need in our city.  Then, a day is dedicated for the families to come pick up the gifts, which volunteers wrap and package for the families to put under their trees for Christmas.

Each year, our three kiddos comb through the lists themselves and each choose a child to purchase gifts for. We learned quickly that those gifts cannot be purchased without our children present to give their opinion and input.  Our family then prays for each child before we turn in the gifts.

When the big day finally arrives, we pack up as a family and head over to church, each to serve in areas where we feel capable.  This year, my husband volunteered to pray for the families who came, while my girls and I were on gift wrap duty, and my son tracked down gifts for families as they arrived.  Humming Christmas tunes while working together as a family is just exhilarating!

All too often, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy associated with this beautiful season.  Believe me, I understand.  It’s hard not to when bombarded with lists for shopping, greeting cards to mail, holiday parties to attend, traveling out of town, getting stuck in traffic .. I’m exhausted just writing about it!

However, my prayer is we would remember that Christmas is about LOVE when the greatest Gift of all, Jesus, was given to each and every one of us by God our Father as we read in John 3:16.  His joy, His peace, and His hope are for all of us to freely bask in.  What an incredible blessing to receive such an amazing gift! With such a great example of giving, may we be challenged to give as well to those in need of a blessing.  “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.” (Deuteronomy 16:17)

Maybe you know someone who is going through a difficult season and would enjoy being invited over to bake cookies with you.  Perhaps someone who is ill would be uplifted to receive a gift with encouraging words of hope.  Maybe you can volunteer your time to sing Christmas carols at a local nursing home. Or perhaps you could buy groceries for a family in need. Whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do, GIVE for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

~Joyce

 

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