We spent a whopping $125 on gifts for the kids this year. Yup, you heard me, I repeat… we spent $125 in TO..TAL on 5 kids’ Christmas presents under the tree. I honestly thought that Christmas morning there would be 3 maybe 4 kids (the baby can’t talk) with sad faces saying things like, “that’s it?” or “Christmas sucks!” WA WA!
We had NONE of that! I pretty much cried like a baby with pride and joy. How did we manage this Christmas miracle you ask?
Short answer… God.
Our family had the opportunity to participate in a challenge that our church threw out on social media for the holiday season. The Challenge was called Light the World and it highlighted 25 ways to share the spirit of Christ in 25 days.
Basically for each day of December you would do something kind or thoughtful for someone else. Each day had a theme if you were organized enough to prepare ahead of time… with 5 kids we were lucky enough to think of 25 things we could do together as a family to share the spirit of Christ with others.
Did we succeed in doing something each day for 25 days? …No.
BUT I would still call what we did a huge success! We were so “others” and “giving” focused this year that we probably could have had nothing under that tree and the kids wouldn’t have minded at all. (The mommy in me wasn’t ready to let go of the Santa magic just yet.) So the only gifts under the tree were from Santa. A Chemistry set for Asher…$800 pesos ($40), an emoji purse full of $1000 pesos ($50) for Baylee, a $200 peso ($10) purring kitty for Laney, a $200 peso ($10) hair coloring toy for Andi and a $300 peso ($15) Hotwheels set for KK.
Our 25 days consisted of taking a couple meals to a couple of families, visiting a few older folks in the community that could use a listening ear, giving small gifts like Beanie babies and Hotwheels to children we would see around town, seeing folks walking in the rain with their groceries and giving them a ride home, putting together a basket of necessities for a single mom and three kids, inviting others to come to church, sharing our testimonies through song, opening our home to those who could use a friend during the holidays and sharing scriptures with others. PHEW!
We were focused and “on purpose” with our season. We spent very little time in the hustle and bustle and more time with children of our Heavenly Father. The kids would often ask if we had gifts in the car ready to give on a moments notice. A few times the kids would jump out and give gifts we had prepared to someone they felt needed a lift. We participated in a Christmas program held in the Square to raise money for a couple of kids who are sick. We were engulfed in the season of giving and sharing.. trying so hard to follow the example of our Savior.
An amazing woman I know once said, “If Christ had my opportunities what would he do?”
Hoping to continue this amazing tradition for years to come and start this year by doing the things our Savior would do if he had our opportunities…”to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.”