To Give or To Give?
What kind of Holiday Giving do you experience? If I'm honest, I am only accustomed to giving to my family and friends. Christmas Giving, however, has even gotten a little out of control through the years. I blame this on trying to meet expectations, but who's expectations? Maybe the spirit of the holiday has changed through the years or maybe we have just forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.
Call me a new mother being sentimental, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about how I how I can help my son experience the true meaning of Christmas. After posting about The Trifecta of Shopping Days, my girlfriend tagged in me in a Facebook post that really helped me put some things in perspective and helped my family make some decisions.
Rather than giving just to put gifts under the tree, we have decided we are going to implement the 3-Gift Christmas in order to help keep CHRIST in our Christmas. The Three Wise Men each brought gifts to Jesus on his birthday, Christmas. Three Gifts from Three Wise Men sounds like a great reason to keep it simple and just give three gifts, but we will also adopt these three categories of gifts... 1 need, 1 want, and 1 surprise gift. After all, our goal is to provide for our family year around, not just during the holidays. Piling the gifts up once or twice a year doesn't seem to send the message that we would like for him to receive...
"Give and it will be given unto you."
Yet this tradition alone doesn't feel like enough. How are we going to teach him to give? We want him to enjoy giving to others! Therefore, we are going to give from the heart. Rather than shopping until we find something that 'Aunt May' might like, we are going to make sure everything we give is from the heart. Whether it is crafty, sentimental, or purchased, we will give to others before we give to ourselves. We will give to someone in need each Christmas, trying to share the love of God. In the future, I would like to find someone near Rhett's age, so he can pick a toy and personally give it to them. He's still a bit young to understand, so here's what I did this year.
While we were decorating our tree, my hubby admitted how much he hated some of our ornaments. I thought, ok, we're a family; let's decorate as a family. We can start collecting ornaments that we all love, and in the meantime, these beautiful ornaments that aren't appreciated here, surely will be appreciated by someone. Let's find someone who needs these and brighten their holiday. I started by reaching out through my local mamas group and yard sale group on Facebook, asking if anyone needed these items or knew someone who did. I quickly got a response saying there was a family in need. When I verified the need by asking for details, I got the goosebumps and was excited to help. Our Father's House is a local mission at The Legacy Church in Senoia, GA. This group of volunteers mentor disadvantaged children from the Senoia area. One of these families was left without a tree or the decorations. Although my donation of Christmas Ornaments was a small gift, it helped decorate a tree that was provided through faithful prayer warriors who trusted God would provide for this family. (Note: it is my understanding that each of the children have been adopted for Christmas, so they will not be left without gifts this Christmas.) If you want to help assure these or other children in the program have everything they need, please contact Mrs. Jean Bright, 404-455-2914.
Walking away from giving something so minor left me wanting to do more, and since my sister & I had recently discussed looking for a family we could buy gifts for I started the search, again through my local mamas Facebook group. That's when I came across this image of Nathan Allen Baisden and his three kids.
After work on December 4th, Nathan was in a Fatal Fiery Crash on Hwy 16. He left behind 4 beloved children. The mother of these children, 6 years (girl), 4 years (boy), 2 years (girl), and 2 months (girl) is out of work; therefore, I was quickly motivated to contribute to this family. Nathan's childhood best friend, Kristen Morgan, also mourning his death, shared this story with our group because she wants to be sure these children are not left without at least a little Christmas. Anything we can do to help distract from the grief they are experiencing during the holidays sounds like a win to me, so I quickly shared the story with my sister and we're going to give what we can, and *I hope you will help too.
The mother, Megan, confirmed a family has already committed to helping take care of all the baby's needs, but the three older children do need jackets, rain boots and pjs. The girls are size 8 & 4t and the boy is a size 5t. If you want to help provide toys or other gifts for the children, Kristen said the little girls love everything Frozen and the little boy loves anything Hot Wheels. If anyone is able to give gift cards this will help their mother as she looks for a job and gets on her feet. Please at least keep this family in our hearts and prayers as they lay Nathan to rest today and learn to live without him in the days ahead!
I am not sharing this story to boast that we did a good deed, but to talk about getting back to the heart of Christmas. If we all do a little more for others before ourselves, won't this world be a better place for our future families? Just a little something to think about. So... will you give by putting things under the tree, or will you GIVE FROM THE HEART and experience the joy and true meaning of Christmas this year?
12/9/2015 UPDATE :: Nathan Baisden's children (all four) are going to live with Kristen Morgan while the children's mother gets on her feet. The 2 month old little girl went home with Kristen immediately following Nathan's funeral yesterday. Today, she posted the following picture and request for help through social media.I believe Kristen is receiving a lot of response through Facebook Groups. However, she is closing in their garage to help care for these children. Therefore, they are going to need beds & dressers, as well as clothing for the three older children. If you have any leads on beds, bedding and dressers, please contact Kristen through Facebook. Winter clothing, including coats, boots, and pjs will be very helpful, as well. Last, if you want to help provide a small Christmas for these children, there are a few ideas below listed with the children's ages and sizes:
- Kaylyn, 6 years, Size 8 Girls - Loves Frozen
- Kayden, 4 years, Size 5t Boys - Loves anything Hot Wheels
- Kaylee, 2 years, Size 4t Girls - Loves Pickachu & Frozen
- Kali, 2 months, Size 0-3 months and Size 1 Diapers
God Bless and Merry Christmas!