A Christmas Rewind Doodle!

December 24, 2010

I’m a little tired right now. Once again I’ve exhausted myself with the hoopla of Christmas preparation. Every year I vow to chill out more, tone it down a bit, leave out some of the less necessary traditions I’ve hung around my neck over my many years of raising children. And every year I just can’t stand to leave anything out. I have to write a Christmas letter and send it to family and friends, even though I start stressing over it in September, wondering what in the world our theme will be this year and how much weirder I can make it than last year. This is a stress I do not want to live without any time soon. Then I have to bake chocolate chip banana bread to give out to anyone remotely connected to our family. This year I’ve baked, but haven’t done too well on the giving it out. I keep forgetting to take it with me when I leave the house, so it continues to sit in the freezer. Maybe I’ll make it Happy New Year bread. Of course, there’s the gift shopping and wrapping which can’t possibly be expunged from the celebration and the traveling across several states in order to have an extended family with whom to celebrate. I did hint that maybe we didn’t need to actually fill the stockings this year, but that met with gasps of horror from my daughters, so I spent three hours last night searching for items worthy of the trouble of stuffing into the stockings we’ve had for most of our family’s history.

So I decided that instead of writing a new Christmas doodle, I would pull one out of the old church newsletter file to rerun. It’s not much, but it has relieved my mind a tiny bit this season and hopefully no one is going to care that much or even remember what I wrote five or more years ago. Here it is then, from Christmas 2005:

It has often been said that Christmas is all about children, meaning that we as adults should strive to make sure children everywhere receive their hearts’ desires at least once a year.There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make Christmas special, but in America this sentiment usually translates into overindulging our own children, while giving donations to various charities that take care of the “underprivileged” among us.

This year God has reminded me once again that Christmas is all about children, but not because of what we need to give them. Christmas is about children because of what they give us, an example of how true faith is lived out. Children enjoy a natural gift for faith. They believe whatever they are taught, whether good or bad. If they are told God is love and He takes care of us, they believe, finding reasons to rejoice no matter what.

I rediscovered this truth as I reorganized our filing system at home this week. While looking through our Compassion file, I reread letters from all the children we’ve sponsored over the years. One thanked us for the Christmas money which enabled her family to have meat for Christmas dinner. Another girl from Rwanda wrote, “Though I do not have a parent, I have God who protects me. I am pleased with the gifts you sent me and I could buy animals for rearing though we had no chance of keeping them by the evil doers stealing them.” A year later she was killed in the Rwandan civil war.

Wana from Haiti bought a goat with her Christmas money one year. That summer the goat died in a drought and Wana contracted malaria. Recently she wrote that she was not doing so well due to the hurricane that had damaged much of her country. And yet in every letter, she greets me “in Jesus’ name who accepted to die on the Calvary wood so that we have eternal life.”

Suzana from Tanzania’s mother died recently, but she reminded me, “I continue to pray for you so that God will bless you more.” Finally, there’s Andres from Columbia, who was sponsored at first by our church’s VBS offering. He continues to rejoice that he can attend school at the Compassion project and he amuses me with comments such as, “my hare and I are very affectionate.”

Bret asked me the other day why we have so many Compassion children. Maybe I just need to see God through their eyes of simple faith.

Have a faith filled Christmas!

I’ve doodled for a whole year now, and I plan on sticking with it. See you again in 2011!