Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Christmas Tradition

Memory is a funny thing.  As my husband and I discussed one of my family's holiday traditions, he expressed uncertainty about the amount of work we were putting in to it.  Growing up, my mother had put together Advent packages for several families we knew.  She would wrap one small present for each day of Advent, label it with a number, and then put a corresponding clue from Scripture on a separate sheet of paper.  A verse about God creating the birds of the air and the fish of the sea from Genesis might be the clue for a package of Goldfish crackers.  With twenty-some days in Advent and multiple families (she did 15 this year!), this project could quickly become both time- and money-intensive.  But she did it almost every year for as long as I can remember.  And I remember why.  This might be the only time that a family gathered around the Bible together all year.  What an opportunity to share these words of life with those who had never heard!  The Gospel light shining in this Advent season!

With that explanation, any doubts my husband had were gone.  We looked forward to gifting our friends, both with the little wrapped packages and with an opportunity to read this book we hold so dearly.  Packages wrapped, a party held, our friends grateful for their gifts, and two days later talking to my mother on the phone:

Me:  Mom, thanks again for this wonderful tradition.  I hope that our friends will enjoy opening the presents and that the Scriptures will encourage them.  Most of them don't read the Bible or go to church usually.

Mom:  What?  We never gave Advent packages to people outside the church.  We made them to encourage our church friends during the Advent season so that they would feel equipped to share with others.

Me:  Funny, I don't remember it that way at all.

True purpose aside, obviously my family's tradition encouraged me to share this Book and this season with those who might not otherwise not meet with them.  May you, too, be encouraged in this season of coming to gather together around the Word as we prepare for His adventus, His coming.

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  1. What a wonderful idea. Oh I am going to store this one in my "future traditions." Great.
    It's always so interesting to compare how parents and children remember traditions and events. You and your husband have taken it one step further...closer to Christ by loving those outside His church. Those that might be overlooked otherwise.

    Happy Christmas.

  2. This is an incredible idea.. thanks so much for sharing it.

  3. It is a wonderful tradition, and I like your version of it so much! I pray that the word will take root in the hearts of those who receive it.



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