Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12 Days of Christmas That Extend Far Beyond

*Updated: Per your comments, in the next day or so, I'll try and post several more of the verses and corresponding gifts to give you more examples.

Although I can barely see straight after 2 insanely late nights of viewing links off of Boomama's Christmas extravaganza, I somehow found myself using the majority of Park's nap time to go right back at it again.

It seems to be some sort of a sickness beyond my control.

But, peeking in on all the festive decorations and creative ideas for making memories did get me thinking about one of my favorite childhood traditions. My Grandma started something wonderful that my parents have decided to pass on to their grandchildren, as well.

And for anybody out there looking to help your children (or grandchildren) keep their eyes on Jesus during the midst of a toy frenzy laden Christmas, this may be a tradition you want to start for your own family, too.

Beginning 12 days before Christmas, my Grandma sent us a gift each day.

And although we loved getting a dozen presents before Santa ever arrived, what actually came in the packages paled in comparison to the significance they carried. Grandma would write out corresponding Bible verses on each and every present. The gift always highlighted the concept of God's message. Each item functioned as a tangible reminder of not only the the purpose behind Christmas, but His perfect will for our lives.

My sister, Challi, and I always marveled at how the packages came, regardless if the mailman did or not. We even wondered if an angel was helping Grandma get them to us in such a timely fashion. Turns out Grandma was a sharp woman who enlisted my dad to receive them all ahead of time and put them in the mail box himself.

Grandma wholeheartedly placed her trust in the Lord, but not so much in the postal system.

On Christmas Eve, the last present would arrive and, each year, the final gift remained the same. Inside were all the coins that her and Grandpa had collected throughout the year. The verse always spoke about the true inheritance of God. Some years, she would remind us of the danger of storing up earthly treasure. Others, would highlight the importance of giving to others what is already His.

The message was always straightforward, delivered in love, and sent to remind us of the unchanging love Christ has for his children. And as Challi and I matured each year, the truth in the scriptures she wrote on those packages were etched on our hearts.

Today's 12 Days of Christmas gift for Park (and his cousins) was a precious animal flashlight. The verse on the package was Psalm 119: 105; Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. And as he played in every dark nook and cranny he could find, I overheard him whispering, "God's light is shining!"

Ah, yes it is, sweet boy.

It is shining through your grandparents, great grandparents, and the legacy of faith they represent in your heritage. His light will always be there, illuminating the road in front of you. And as you learn to navigate your way in this dark world, I am trusting that the truth in those scriptures will be etched on your precious heart, as well.

And unlike the batteries in your flashlight that you have somehow already managed to run down, God's light will never disappear on you.

*For more tips from the holiday edition of WFMW, check out Rocks in My Dryer.


JAN said...

What a great idea! Can you give me examples of what the other gifts and verses might be?

Kelly said...

This is a precious, precious tradition. What a legacy!

(And your line about Grandma having complete faith in God but not so much in the postal system cracked me up! She was wise, too!)

Janelle said...

What a great tradition! I'll need to do some planning to be ready for next year!

Kelly said...

That is the sweetest tradition I have ever heard of. I'm going to try and bookmark that in my brain to do for our kids one day. Thanks for sharing that!!!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I absolutely love this idea.

When you have time (maybe in February?!?), please post some more examples! We'd love to hear them.

I am... said...

oh I love this idea!
I can see how this would leave great memories with meaning over the years.
thanks for sharing!

Mercy said...

That's a great idea - I'm thinking of doing that for the stocking stuffers. :-)

happygeek said...

What a super idea! I echo what the others say! Examples please when you have that elusive free time!

Mom22Boyz said...

That has to be the most beautiful idea! I try to repeat over and over to my boys to not forget the reason we are celebrating! Even though they are older, I believe this would be a great idea to start. Thank you for sharing this tradition!

Molly said...

What a precious memory to treasure that has an everlasting impact! I also am interested in hearing some ideas of other gifts that your grandparents sent over the years...I am interested in doing something similar. Thanks.

K in the Mirror said...

I absolutely love this idea! Can't wait to hear more examples. :)

David Campbell said...

Brittani, I love this. You and Challi are so blessed to have been brought up to love the Lord by parents and grandparents who wholeheartedly love the Lord. I pray David and I are doing the same for our sweet children. And, like all the others said, I would love to hear the other examples of the precious gifts. If I don't see you before the 25th, Merry Christmas my friend!!

Simply A Musing Blog said...

What a beautiful tradition! I might want to start that one with my own kids! Thank you so much for sharing.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Sweet tradition. I think I may start that next year. That would be a wonderful advent calendar instead of the traditional candy each day.