The anticipation has been building and on Christmas Eve it feels like it’s about to burst. We are preparing food for the celebration and getting all supplies for games and activities ready. We are cleaning and bringing treats to neighbors and gifts to friends, and the gifts we bought with our St. Nicholas Day coins were brought to a needy family.
We took a few hours to help a friend give gifts to the homeless shelter children this year. When we arrived, I took the kids aside to prep them for event. “Remember that we are giving to Jesus when we give to people in need, Jesus told us this when he was on earth. It’s one way we love Jesus by showing love to others.” I was watching Owen’s eyes get big, “Oh, is that why we give presents at Christmas? I was wondering!” I’m sure I’ve said it a million times, but this time it clicked! Praise the Lord! A reminder to keep repeating truths to them.
At the end of the day we open our gifts to each other as a family – each person has a gift for the other members of the family in front of them. “Who will give first?” is the dancing cry of the children. “Something I picked just for you because I know you – know what you do well and what makes you feel loved.” Then each person gets a chance to give, one at a time, and tell why they picked the gift out for the other. It encourages kind words that build up and being outwardly focused.
Then usually we go to a Christmas Eve service to worship and sing, preparing our hearts for the King on his birthday. (this year we did not because our church was meeting on Christmas morning) We tuck the wiggling children to bed and fill up the stockings. All is ready for the party of all parties, the biggest of the year.