Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jesus

You have to admit,
giving gifts to folks other than the 'birthday boy'
 is an odd way of celebrating the birthday boy's birth.

I struggle with being in the world and not of it
in lots of areas, Christmas included.
It's not that I'm a Scrooge.
Really, I'm not.
In fact 
I love giving just the right gift!
And wrapping it up all pretty, too!!
It's just really hard for me to keep 
'the Reason for the season'
as the most important thing
when so much other doing and shopping
is part of 'the season' also.
For several years,
we've been 'cutting back'
but still,
when you have an above average-sized family,
not much
is still
a lot.

Taking a cue from beautiful Ann 
we included gifts for the Birthday Boy
in our Christmas festivities.
After the family gifts had been opened
and played with
and worn; 
and the meal eaten,
had a party!
It was a little backwards, though;
instead of bringing our gifts to the party,
we shopped for them
during our party.

We divided up the money we received for Christmas
from my dad and my grandpa,
(thank-you so much!!)
and after reading Matthew 25:34-40
and explaining what we were doing,
everyone (generously!) added in some money of their own.
Some were more adamant than others
about what their purchases would be.
Lily wanted to give chocolate
- no surprise there ;-)
but once I explained that Jesus had no use for chocolate (gasp!)
she was insistent on using her money for milk
and water
and no amount of trying to talk her into going in on other purchases
could talk her out of her milk and water
milk and water it was!

going back and forth between sites
to choose the very best price on each particular item we wanted.
Lily, Tony, and Brandon all spent their money alone.
Jeremiah, Josiah and Lexi put theirs together,
and so did Tyler and I.
Well, actually, Tyler spent $25 of his
 and just gave the rest to me to spend,
since I'm such a savvy shopper :-)

We ended up
spreading our purchases out between five different organizations.
Tony thought it seemed a little weird to 'comparison shop' such giving
but agreed we wanted to give as much as possible.
All together
(this is so exciting!)
we spent $452 
and bought Jesus

a week's worth of milk
clean water for a family
SIX goats (yay!!!)
Chickens for TWO families or orphans
1 beehive with bees and supplies
6 mosquito nets (with natural insecticide :-)
seeds, tools, and training for an orphan
and some emergency food 
(Tyler thought it was all good and well to feed them in the future
but thought we really needed to feed the hungry now, too!)

Our Birthday Party for Jesus
was the best part of the day for me
and I think it will become a new tradition.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!


  1. Now THAT is wonderful! I didn't even know you could do that. I hope the money goes where it should, and I will have to look into doing that myself!

  2. What a wonderful Christmas celebration. I love it! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Very cool. We used to try to do that sort of thing, but we never actually stopped for a birthday party. I think this will inspire us to try it out again. Thanks for sharing it.


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