Gifts and Giving

The days seem to be flying by. Each year we work to focus on why we even celebrate Christmas. It seems so easy, I think especially with little children, to get caught up in the activities of what the world calls Christmas but forget why we choose to celebrate this special time. We have chosen carefully which holidays we celebrate as a family and feel that are children need to understand why. So why do we choose Christmas?



If you were to ask my 2 year old, she would simply reply “Jesus”. This very simple explanation has made me stop and think, what would I say?  It would be much longer and probly sound more sophisticated and educated. But really, is there any need for anything else? My little children often awe me in their clarity of understanding such things. Jesus. This is why we celebrate Christmas. We are so excited to spend a whole month in celebration of the birth of our Savior. It hardly seems enough.


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We have this HUGE pecan tree in our front yard that produces hundreds of pounds of pecans each winter. When we first moved here, I was very selfish of this tree.  Afterall, it was my pecan tree and my pecans. One day as I looked out my window, I saw some people walking all over my yard picking up pecans. I was upset. They were stealing MY pecans. (Even though I hardly even picked many of them up.) I then began checking more frequently throughout each day to check on my tree. And sure enough, more often than not someone would be out picking pecans up from my yard. I battled in my head over this. What should I do? Should I ask them to leave? Should I just ignore them?

 One night while putting the children to bed they asked to listen to the pineapple story.  This is a story about a missionary and his struggles with possessions. Long story short, as I sat at my sewing machine sewing away and listening to this story, it dawned on me that this wasn’t my tree at all. It belonged to God and I was merely to take care of it and glorify Him while doing it. I began to think what I would do the next time someone stopped to pick pecans. The answer seemed pretty simple, give them a bag to collect God’s pecans in and smile and mumble in what little Spanish I know to take all they needed.


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I don’t always realize how much my children watch me and my actions. But it was not long and one of the boys came running inside “Mom, can I get a bag to give the man picking pecans in the front yard?” “Yes”, I smiled. So today as I was watching a family collect pecans (they come about once a week) I thought about what giving is really about. What does it really mean to give? Why do we give? One simple word- Jesus. God in His unconditional love for us gave to us Jesus. A little baby, born in a stable to a young mother surrounded by animals. I love to think about that night. Mary, exhausted after traveling and then giving birth, holding her precious new baby. A gift from God for the whole world. Every man woman and child. So I want to teach my children to give unconditionally with a loving heart. I want them to understand the gift that has been given to them..Jesus. And that with this gift they in turn have so much to give to others.

So this Christmas, we are talking alot about giving. We decided to have the children draw names for one sibling that they would buy a gift for. They can make as many gifts as they can find resources (and they are VERY resourceful), but only one is bought. I have delighted in their creativity and joy in making each other gifts. Our tree is already filled with gifts and we have yet to make a trip to go Christmas shopping! So as the days go by and even after Christmas has come and gone, let us never forget about Jesus. The perfect gift!!!


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About dazzlingingrace

Hmm.. I love Jesus. I love my husband, Eric. I love my 8 beautiful children. I loved living in California. I love sunshine and the beach. Shopping at farmers market and the little stores downtown where I can bargin for the best deal. I love to sew and make things. I love spending time with girlfriends encouraging each other. Date nights with Eric are fabulous. I love ballroom dancing with him. The smell of my new little baby and the miracle of their existance. I love italian food- or just about all of Italy for that matter. I love art- paintings on my wall that I know personally who painted them.
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3 Responses to Gifts and Giving

  1. What a beautiful reminder about Christmas AND life! I have been trying to focus on my children as the “pecan tree” in my life….though they are mine, they are truly God’s, in my care for now. It is such an important thing to remember and often for me an easy thing to forget! Thanks for this post!

  2. bakersdozen2 says:

    “The Pecan Story” was wonderful!  What a true life encouragement. Must admit I thought,  ~”HEY”!!!!! that’s not right when you mentioned people helping themselves. But then, how perfect the solution!!! Love The Pineapple story!  Blessings to you!  :)

  3. SpazzyMommy says:

    Hi! Thank you for subbing to my blog! Your pecan tree story is great! It’s such a great way to teach your children, by action and not word!!Our christmas is going to be much different this year. The children have drawn names amongst themselves and their cousins and they each have to make a homemade (or partially homemade) gift. I LOVE seeing their generosity and sincerity thats being put into each gift. It has made everything about Christmas so much more special! Their putting their HEARTS into the projects….their great!I do hope to get to know you better! I see you live in California- I grew up in California…we lived everywhere from Laguna Beach, Santa Maria, Placerville and a little bit of everywhere in between! 🙂 Almost all of our family is still out there….Have a great weekend….and keep those pecan pickin’ bags handy!!!! :)-Casandra

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