Today is Christmas Eve. After battling colds during Thanksgiving again I find myself at home beside two sick children. Coughs and sneezes are sprinkled with smiles as the anticipation for Christmas Day fills the atmosphere.
There are moments when I have said aloud it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas. In between deadlines and wiping noses we just barely got our tree up. Our decorations are scarce and the gingerbread house sits on top of the dining table waiting to be decorated.
And then my oldest daughter starts talking. Lately her conversations have been about the family we sponsored for the holidays. And just like that, a glow inhabits my heart. And all of the sudden it feels like Christmas.
For me the greatest joy comes from giving. It is a part of who I am and my hope is that it becomes a part of who my children are. Throughout the year we have always made it a point to give; however, during the month in which they are often given so much, I make it a point to ensure that my babies participate in acts of giving too.
When my oldest was a baby I would take her with me to the store and purchase a gift for a child her age. As she has grown older she has picked out her own gifts. With Lola I have done the same. I take her with me shopping for gifts and she accompanies me in the delivering of them as well. I am not sure she understands exactly what is happening but I am certain the feeling of joy that radiates from the rest of us shines on to her too. I say this because she always joins us in our smiles eagerly accompanying us in our delivering of joy.
This season we started with delivering flowers to seniors at a nursing home. Oh how they love little ones. It was a beautiful start to a season of giving. But it didn’t end there. And the thing is it won’t end. Acts of kindness and generosity will be sprinkled throughout our “everydays.”
I love having my littlest with us especially when we are making a difference. I love it because she is a part of our family. But also because I hope that this will become second nature for her, the way climbing into my arms seeking comfort or curling up between her sister and I during bedtime stories or crying when she is sad has become.
I want her to find as much joy in blessing others as her mama does. I want her to know that her contribution to the world matters and that she has the power to make a difference in the lives of others. I want her to value people above things and to never forget how much joy there is in giving.