It’s my desire to bless my boys at Christmas, but I want them to learn to bless others more.
Posted in , Dec 6, 2014
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16, NIV)
The boys bring the box down from the attic. One boy holds it tight. It’s a cardboard box, gold in color, covered with a lid.
It’s a Christmas tradition.
And it’s filled with blessing.
“On the mantle?” my son asks. I nod. He stands on tiptoes and places the box beside our antique clock. Same place it’s been. Every Christmas. Every year.
We started the Christmas Box when my bigger boys weren’t much more than babes. Back then it held index cards with planned activities, and each day, during the month of December, we’d extract a card from the box.
The activities were simple fun. Decorate a Christmas cookie. Help put stamps on Christmas cards. Dance with Mama to your favorite Christmas song. But as my boys grew and changed, the contents of the box changed, too.
“What will we do first?” my son asks.
“I’m not sure,” I say. “What do you think?”
My son pauses. His eyes narrow. Then his face becomes bright. “Bake cookies to share with a neighbor? We can take them to Pearl next door.”
“Sounds good to me,” I say. “Let’s pick a recipe and check our baking supplies.”
He’s off to the kitchen in a mad dash.
We now call the box our Blessing Box. There are still a few things that are just for fun. Watch a Christmas movie and drink cocoa. Take a ride to see Christmas lights.
But mostly the cards encourage our family to serve. To love. To take the spirit of Christmas beyond our own door. The cards now help us to grow and give rather than get and gather.
Bake cookies for someone in the neighborhood. Shovel someone’s drive. Do a chore and earn money to give to our Christmas mission project at church. Read a Christmas story to someone older than you or younger than you.
Over the years, The Blessing Box has become a wonderful way to stay others-focused in what could become a self-indulgent time. It’s my desire to bless my boys at Christmas, but I want them to learn to bless others more.
“I’m excited,” my son says. He’s returned with my favorite cookbook, the one that’s tattered and torn. We sit on the sofa. He sidles up next to me and I hold him for a moment. The other boys gather around.
Truth is, I’m excited, too.
The idea of the Blessing Box is to share, love and give.
But there’s an overflow to the giving.
In God’s kindness and grace, while we’re giving, we also receive.