We met the Shepherd today and kept it simple by having the girls find a box of candy canes and decorate the tree a little more. I went over the candy cane story and it was a wonderful way to continue to teach that all things can point back to God. We also talked about those less fortunate then us and how we can show our love to them this Christmas season by giving them time, prayer, and gifts.

IMG_1681 IMG_1685 IMG_1682

We went shopping at Fleet farm and budgeted to spend $100 on 5 children. Both families are single moms with young children and limited finances. I wanted to just send the one mom something small that said we love you and are thinking of you. The other mom I wanted to get everything for- I wanted to fill her tree because I knew she had nothing to give this year. It was humbling to buy and find that balance of not offending or over stepping but also wanting to bless them. The fact that I could imagine those babies unwrapping gifts that their mothers so lovingly wrapped up warmed my heart- I was just happy I got to be part of the blessing and I think that speaks to the core of so many of the character stories from Once Upon a Nativity but also thick through the Bible.

It was amazing to see my oldest so thoughtfully buying gifts for these families. She filled our cart full and was so proud to be getting these babies presents. When got to the other family we were buying for, with children almost exactly the same age as our girls, it got a little harder putting those toys in the cart. You see all she has been asking for is a Elsa and Anna Barbie doll so when I asked her what she thought these little girls would love for Christmas she knew the answer.

In her finite 4 year old perspective when she placed those last dolls in the cart you could see that she was giving away all she wanted for Christmas. She was teaching me the essence of true Christmas magic.

When she put those Elsa and Anna Barbies up on the belt at checkout she quickly told the cashier that these toys were not for us and that she would not be keeping them for herself. It was precious to see her so thoughtfully placing aside her own desires and for her to be learning at such a young age what it is to give of yourself and what true joy we can get from thinking of others first. My heart is so full tonight words just can’t fully come.

Very Merrily,

Ashleigh Harris