"What in the world can I give them for Christmas?!"
It's a popular line of thinking right now. And the stores eagerly push to assist us in the decision of where to spend our hard-earned money!
My mailbox spills over with glossy ads. Each store clamoring over the other to declare that they have the very BEST purchase price on any and everything the wisest shoppers could ever hope to purchase! (As well as a few things we didn't even know we needed!)
I've never been a recreational shopper. The phrase "retail therapy" is wasted on my kind. There haven't been many stages in my life where finances allowed for that.
Shopping for me has been more like a hunting trip where I try to sniff out the best bargain on the single item most desired. Then pounce on it; armed with my trusty 20%-off coupon!
As a family, we have MANY Christmas miracle stories. Times when our sweet little girls would look up from some ad with wide innocent eyes and say, "Oh, Daddy! I want THIS for Christmas!"
Frank and I would know that we didn't have the money to buy it for them. That's when we would turn to our "Daddy" and plead, "Oh, Heavenly Father! You see our desire to provide a few simple gifts for our girls this Christmas. Please, help!"
And somehow, He always did!
It may not have been the top seller; nor the flashiest model. But the squeals of delight as gifts were opened Christmas morning made us know, nothing could have been appreciated more!
This past Wednesday night, Abby (2 1/2 now) climbed up on my lap to share a bag of chips I was holding. She ate one, flashed her trademark smile and said, "Noni, I hab one fo' Budder?"
Spencer (aka - "Budder" / Brother) wasn't even near us. He was busy playing ball. But in her thinking, the gold mine of chips she had discovered had to be shared! She jumped down from my lap and looked up expectantly.
I reached into the bag. "Here's another one for you, Abby. And here's one for Spencer."
The big blue eyes twinkled and her response was totally sincere, "Thank you fo' my chip, Noni. I not eat Buddder's!" And off she ran on fat little legs; curly blonde hair bouncing behind. Raspy, little girl voice calling out "Budder! Budder!"
To share what she had seemed perfectly natural. And though the "gift" was only a single chip, Abigail reaped the full joy of being a "giver."
One of my favorite scriptures reminds us that the best life is a simple one. "Why do you worry so about what you'll eat or wear? (Or what you'll give as gifts this Christmas?) Your Heavenly Father dresses the flowers of the field. And He cares MUCH more about you!"
Taking this one thought to the stores will probably help me much more than my 20%-off coupon!