Bags and bags of gifts!
At Christmastime over the past several years, our (extended) family's paradigm of Christmas has been changing. Christmas has been different since our own children have grown into young men. For a little background, here's a simple family tree:
Dad + Mom
Matt + Char Christine + Fernando Jeff
That's it--a pretty small tree. It looks more like a cross, come to think of it. Christmas has become a bit of a challenge--there are no longer little ones or young kids to buy presents for, and our young men have told us that they really don't want anything as far as gifts are concerned. Soooo, what to do?
Well, one year we did a grab bag--each family member picks someone else's name and shops for just that person. One year we did a puzzle exchange; that was fun since we always do a puzzle on New Year's Eve.
For the past few years, we've put our focus on others. My dad's church has a program that ministers to needy families at Christmas. They put up a Christmas tree in their lobby, with cards all over the tree. On the cards are the names of children, with their ages, clothing sizes, and a space for wanted things. Church members can pick one (or more) of the cards and shop for those children. The gifts get bagged up and distributed to them before Christmas. It's a neat way to minister to a family who otherwise wouldn't have much to celebrate on Christmas.
This year, our family decided to participate in this once again. We all met up at Target, broke up into groups, each group having the card with the needed/wanted items, and we took off throughout the store. It was so much fun walking around and trying to find things that these kids needed and wanted! Plus, it was lots of fun shopping for girls, since I rarely get to do that. :)
After shopping, we all met up at my parents' home to share lunch and wrap gifts.
After lunch, we got to work sorting gifts by child, pile by pile.
Then, it was time to wrap. I loved watching some of the guys wrapping!
The children we shopped for were from two different families, so we ended up with two piles of gifts.
After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11 NASB
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