Sunday, December 6, 2009

The “Merry Christmas” Plan

Original Written:   Dec. 6, 2009
Vol. 1, Issue 10

Hello Everyone and Merry Christmas to You All! 

I wanted to share something special with you. It was something that I did with my boys one Christmas. We called it "The Plan" and it gave us so much joy and taught our kids a valuable lesson about giving selflessly. I'm telling you this now because I thought maybe you would be able to do the same with your kids and get the same joy in return! 

There have been times in my life's journey when God sent people in my path to help my family and me.  Sometimes this was in the form of financial support, prayer, friendship or some other special way.  It always happened just when I was at the end of my rope and needed God's help. Sometimes they were people I never knew.  But, it was clear to me that whatever assistance was being given; the timing was unmistakably God's hand moving people to where they needed to be so He could help me in His divine way.

One year when we were blessed to have a little extra money.  I was working at a place where I knew of a family who was going to have an extremely slim Christmas.  The family consisted of a single mom who was the victim of a traumatic injury and was raising a child on her own.  Something about this family touched my heart and I wanted to do something special for them.  I also wanted to teach my sons about doing things for others without expecting anything in return.  We got together and devised "The Plan." 

Now there were a few rules to follow in accomplishing “The Plan.”  I'm technically breaking one of those rules now, but after all these years, I think the boys understood the lesson.  My motivation is to pass on what we learned, not to pat myself on the back in any way. Perhaps my story will inspire someone else who reads this. So here is the story that I lovingly refer to as: 

†  THE PLAN  †

† Step #1                  For the plan to work, the boys would have to agree to tell NO ONE what we did. Not even their friends at school. It was not to leave our family. If they did, then that meant the secret would be out and all of a sudden what we did for someone else became more about us and less about the family in need.

† Step #2          We took ourselves to the store and spent what we could afford. We purchased a few gifts for the child, some clothing, and much needed cash for the single mom, along with a card that we carefully selected.  The card was filled with encouragement and scripture of God's promise to care for us in times of trouble.  We signed the card "May God Watch Over You! Merry Christmas from A Family Who Cares"

† Step #3     I instructed the boys that to deliver the gifts, we would need to park in the street next door to the "target" house. It was only the mom and son at home. I couldn't take the chance of being recognized, so my two older boys (who were about nine and ten at the time) would be making the delivery. So we drove to our target. During that drive we spoke of the joys of giving to others who were less fortunate and also we spoke about Matthew 6 vs. 3-4a "But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing that your charitable deed may be done in secret...". In other words, let our good works be done in secret before the Lord.  Not to bring glory to ourselves, but to bring glory to the Lord.  I wanted them to learn early on that giving to others in need is the same as giving an offering to the Lord.  We don't glorify ourselves or boast about it.  By not allowing them to tell anyone, including their friends, they would always have that knowledge in their hearts.

† Step #4          When we arrived, we positioned the car so I could see them, but whoever answered the door wouldn't be able to see the car as we made our "getaway". The boys then took the gifts and the card with the cash, rang the bell and handed it to the little boy who answered the door.  They hollered "Merry Christmas" and took off running back to me and we left before they could see who we really were. 

To this day I will never forget the smiles on the faces of MY children!  They were grinning from ear to ear!  The family had no idea who we might be, where we came from or how we heard about their situation.  They still don't to this day, I'm most certain of it. But they have blessed my boys and me richly. 

Every year at about this time, I remember what we did together that Christmas.  It was such a blessing to my children and me.  It was our little secret to keep!  So now our secret is out to share with you in hopes that perhaps you may be inspired somehow to do something similar with your child or children this season.  It doesn't have to be big, elaborate, or fancy.  But making “The Plan” anonymous, and keeping all glory and focus on the Lord in turn blessed us in ways that we did not expect. 

My blessing was the joy in my heart that my children had learned the gift of giving to others without the need of personal recognition. Knowing that the Lord had given us more than we needed that year was another blessing.  We were even more grateful to be able to share what He had given to us with others.

So as people scurry around this year and fulfill their Christmas shopping lists, let's not forget the greatest gift of all. The small Babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manager. Jesus Christ, God's greatest gift for ALL of mankind.

Merry Christmas to you all and may you be blessed this holiday season!


© Robynn “Bobbie” Dinse / Bobbie’s World Blogs
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