As the Christmas season begins, our hearts are overflowing with the blessings this past year has brought us.
This evening when Justin got home from work, we loaded the kids in the car and headed to the Christmas tree farm. One kid was throwing a hyperventilating fit because he's probably teething, and the other one was screaming because she was out of crackers - and because she's two. Apparently they have a saying about two year olds.
Everyone was in, buckled, and semi-contained when, about a mile down the road, we realized the Christmas Tree farm closed at 5. It was 5:15. We turned around and Ellery asked, "What you doing, mommy?"
"We're going back home," I said sorrowfully.
Insert another tantrum here.
All day we had talked about Christmas trees and how much fun we were going to have cutting one down when daddy got home. Now I tell her we aren't getting one today.
When we got home with a very disappointed toddler asking for a Christmas tree, Justin went to the backyard and cut down something resembling a very large twig. He brought it inside and called it a Christmas tree. She didn't know the difference. To her, it was a Christmas tree.
He hurredly draped some colored lights on it and plugged it in. Ellery's face lit up with pure delight, and my heart melted.
Innocence. I was reminded of innocence.
Each year, we usually spend about $50 on a Christmas tree. We spend money on decorations and festivities and unnecessary gifts. We find great joy in all of these things, yet we sometimes fail to let the true reason for the season envelope our hearts, inspiring us to think more about others than we do ourselves.
As we stood in awe of how such a simple branch could be transformed into something so incredible, we had an idea.
An idea that I really love.
We aren't going to buy a Christmas tree this year. Instead of spending that money on something that will pass away as quickly as it came, we want to donate it to a good cause.
Our hearts have not been led in any particular way yet, as far as where our donation will be going, but we are prayerful that the right opportunity will be opened to us.
Though it is no great sum of money that we are planning to give, we are excited about this opportunity the Lord has laid upon our hearts, an opportunity born of a very hectic afternoon. Perhaps in the simple act of comforting a disappointed toddler, the seeds have been sown for a new family tradition. Isn't our God good?