** One thing our children enjoy about the Christmas season is all the lights. There is a particular street in our town with beautiful old homes that go all out with pretty greenery and light displays. This year, we packaged homemade cookies up with a card and delivered them door to door to each of these 6 homes. Inside the card Kaity wrote a short note telling them how much our family enjoyed their lights each year and thanking them. We included a couple of scriptures sharing the Light of the world:
"For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV)** The kids do extra chores to earn money to buy gifts to place inside Operation Christmas Child boxes. They love shopping for the items! This year, Kaity participated with the youth group at our church to help pack the boxes and prepare them for shipping. The gospel is included in the appropriate language in each box.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (ESV)
** Our church partners with our county's Department of Family and Children Services to help provide Christmas for foster children. Sunday School classes sponsor one or more children by purchasing gifts from the children's wish lists. Our college/singles class provided for a 17 year old girl this year.
** Gifts to our kids are moderate. In addition to not having much money to spend, our children have plenty as it is. (They're blessed with generous, loving grandparents, too!) We have a tradition of giving them new pajamas, one thing they've really wanted, something they'll share (like a game), plus a few little things we think they'll enjoy to go in their stockings.
** We do whatever it takes to be able to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Missions hold a special place in our hearts and we're happy to give in support of our missionaries. This year our church is collecting cans to recycle as part of our effort to give.