Sunday, December 15, 2013

The most important Christmas gift

Well one thing you should know about me is that I wasn't allowed to wrap gifts when I was younger. Not because my mother was afraid I would tell the reciever what they were getting, 
but because I was horrible at wrapping. 
Even when I was in high school and ok even as an adult. 
Finally I think I am decent enough to wrap my children's gift. 

This year though I wrapped the most important gift I will ever wrap. 
I carefully wrapped the gift and used heavy duty shipping tape to insure that this wrapped gift 
will stand the test of time. 
I wanted beautiful paper and a beautiful tag (although I'm sure the tag will go missing as soon as its under the tree).
Even with a missing tag this gift will be one that everyone will know who it is for. 
So who is this gift for? 
Why is it the most important gift?

Here is my present…

The first thing my two year old noticed about the box was the hole. 
He peeked inside… "all gone!" He shouted.
I told him it is all gone until we fill it. 

This special carefully wrapped box is empty yet it the most important present under the tree.
You see my mom started a tradition in our family of having a present like this under the tree and 
each Christmas we write on a sticky note what we are
giving the Savior for His birthday.
Some years we gave him multiple things, some years my mom had to beg us to write just one thing.
We always gave Him something. 
I remember one year writing I will try not to hit Garett or Lauren for a week. 
Apparently that was a really hard thing to do. 
We always did realistic gifts. 
That was key to the success of giving a gift to Jesus every year. 

To do this tradition simply write what you plan to give to Jesus on His birthday. 
You can choose to write your name on it or not.
On Christmas Day you can read them and ponder how well you "gave" your gift.
Or you can choose to have a smaller hole and keep the gifts to yourselves but write down in 
your journals how well the gift was completed. 
I preferred to read them and not have our names on them. 
(Although it can be obvious whose was whose)

Some examples of gifts:

Visiting lonely elderly
Having a family over for dinner
Changing a habit
Making a habit
Give a physical gift to someone
Be nicer to someone at school/work
Have meaningful conversation with a stranger and get to know them

There are many gifts to give the Savior. 
He isn't here in the flesh at this time on the Earth.
He needs us to do His work. 
So this year i decided it is time for us to have our own gift to Jesus 
under our tree. 
I don't think this is a tradition you can start too early or late. 
If my 2 year old can wonder and ask about an "empty box" then I'm sure your children, spouse, room mates, ect. can wonder about it too. 

I have read many things about Christmas as pertaining how to keep the true meaning of the season. 
I very much enjoyed this blog post here about Mr. Claus 
It is how we are choosing to present Santa. 
I believe that Santa should not take over Christmas but should be used as a tool
in teaching our children about giving. Of course my little man is going to get excited over gifts 
rather than the little baby Jesus. However as he gets older he can understand the true meaning.
It is up to Adam and I to make sure we live our lives in such a way that he can know baby Jesus
is so much more than just a little baby. 
 But for now I will let him wonder about the box that we fill with papers. 

I am grateful for my Savior. I hope when people see me they know I have been touched by 
His light. I hope to share that light with others. 
I know he died for me, I know he died for you. 
But He also lives for me, He also lives for you! 
He may not walk among us but I believe someday He will come again. 
I plan on growing, learning, and becoming more like Him.
I challenge you to do some kind of variation of this tradition. It has helped us stay focused on Christ. 
I love my Savior very much and want to wish 
Him a happy birthday! 

Merry Christmas!

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