When the kids were growing up, I sewed a stocking just for Jesus. The kids asked me, “Mommy, why are you making a stocking for Jesus since He’s up in heaven?”
I told them, “Just ’cause Jesus is in heaven doesn’t mean that we can’t give Him gifts, too.
I cut up little strips of paper and told them to write down what they would do during the next year that would please Jesus. then we slipped them into the stocking and hung on the mantel next to the family’s stockings
On Christmas morning, we would pull the strips out of Jesus’s stocking and reading what everyone in the family had written. The kids usually said something to the effect of “I’m gonna try to be nicer to my brother and sister.”
Bruce and I usually wrote something about our intention to pray for our neighbors each day, or for patience and perseverance.
A friend told me that she made a crown which her kids decorated and placed it at an empty place-setting on the dining room table for Christmas dinner. I love that tradition. It’s a wonderful way to remind the children that Jesus is always present even though we don’t see Him. And to remind them that Christmas is first about Jesus, and secondarily about parties and presents.
When the children grew older we moved to a house without a fireplace, so we didn’t hang the stockings at Christmastime.
But a few years later we moved again…to a house with a beautiful fireplace. I opened the box where we stored the stockings and pulled them out. Jesus’s stocking was right in there with the rest of them. Surprised to feel a slight bulge at the bottom of the stocking, I reached down inside and pulled out tons of slips of paper. I wish I had told the kids to sign and date the strips. However, it wasn’t too hard to guess which kid had written which, and about how old they were when they wrote their “gifts.”
A lump in my throat threatened to steal my voice as I read some of the strips out loud.
- “Dear Jesus, thank You for Christmas. I love you.”
- “Dear Jesus, this year I will try not to yell at my sister.”
- “Baby Jesus, happy birthday. I will be nice this year.”
- “Lord Jesus, give me a heart for hurting people this year.”
- “Jesus, I will not let a day go by without saying something kind to each of my children.”
But the strips did help us remember that we all are here for the purpose of living for Jesus. and that we should live each day with an attitude of thankfulness. Because when each new day dawns, God is providing us another opportunity to make our gifts to Him come true.
What gift for Jesus will you make become reality this year?
“When they (the wise men) saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” (Matthew 2:10-11 NIV Bible)