By Kathy Green
Merry Christmas! If you follow the liturgical year, the celebration of Christmas has just begun and will continue until January 6 (Epiphany). There is still plenty of time for more caroling, gift-giving, and sharing the message of hope in Jesus our Savior.
If you are like our family, though, the day after Christmas is a time to quietly reflect on Christmas Day memories made and the thoughtful gifts so lovingly prepared by friends and family. The heart and soul behind each gift become so clear and evident. That is often the greater gift! What a joy and blessing it is to see through the window into the soul of one with his heart in the right place.
Through the years, we have often had themes to our own gift giving to children and grandchildren. Themes help us to focus on a collective message that can be passed on as we give. Teachable moments can present themselves more easily at times, such as the holiday season, when emotions are heightened. The spirit is more willing to receive and remember what is shared. A new blanket brings warmth and comfort. Do we know another that needs to be comforted? A soft, new pillow gives us rest when we are weary. Can we lift a burden for a neighbor?
A theme also prevents a tendency toward comparison and jealousy. Everyone has a new blanket, yet the blanket might be a different type to fit personality or need. One might need a baby blanket, a cozy
throw, a picnic blanket, or a bedspread. Thinking about each one individually makes gift opening fun and surprising.
This year, the theme was feet! Our feet keep us moving… moving for the sake of Christ and the unique
mission He has given each one of us. For this reason, keeping our feet protected, warm, and dry is
important. Some in the family needed cozy slippers this year, some needed new boots, and others
needed shoes. Our Christmas “family portrait” of shoes shows that diversity of need. One grandchild left an old pair of well-worn (probably slightly outgrown) sneakers completely behind as he went out the door. No need to save them for anyone else!
“Children Go Where I Send Thee” is an old, African American carol that we shared with our
grandchildren to help underscore the message of mission, while keeping with the joy and spirit of the
season. The carol teaches many lessons, such as faithfulness to God’s will, the need for community and unity, and the passing on of our faith.
There are many music artist renditions of this song. You can find some of them to listen to here: The
Here are the lyrics: Children, Go Where I Send Thee | Hymnary.org.
Enjoy the full season of Christmas and have a Happy New Year!
Kathy Green and her husband, Ed, founded Homeschoolers of Maine (HOME) in 1990 to provide information, support, and encouragement to homeschoolers throughout the state. Kathy oversees the daily operations of the organization and enjoys helping the many homeschool families that reach out daily. She and her husband have four daughters and twelve grandchildren. They reside in the town of Hope.