Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Gift of Not Enough

When my children were growing up we didn't have enough money to buy them new toys. I would spend Saturdays in the Autumn scouring yard sales for toys in decent condition, clean them up and wrap them for Christmas morning. The boys lit up just like other kids when they walked into the living room to see a pile of presents.
Once Rush must have smelled a rat because he looked up at me and asked, "Did this belong to another little boy before me?" "Yep." And he didn't mind at all.
I couldn't afford to buy the ingredients for fancy cookies so I found a recipe for Pop Corn Balls and made a basket of huge ones in red, green and white. They were so delicious, beautiful and it looked so luxurious that the kids grown friends still call me at Christmas for the recipe. Total cost about $2.00
We didn't have tickets for the seasonal plays but we had a Christmas carolling party every year where we met at our house with all of their friends to practice the old familiar songs and then drove way out into the country and sang the first carol (Joy to the World) to the baby Jesus under the stars.
Then we would proceeded to all of the shut ins houses we knew and sing our "not quite ready for prime time" carols. If you pick the right audience your efforts will be much appreciated and we were!
It modeled for the kids that giving is the best part of Christmas.
In our neighborhood there was a fee for picking up the dead Christmas tree so we started a tradition of a bon fire on New Years Eve to incinerate the tree. Word spread and it became another annual party at our house.
One year when things were particularly tight a friend stopped by with an on sale Winn Dixie ham. What a delicious memory. We had ham sandwiches, ham strata on Christmas morning and ham balls for dinner. To this day that was the best ham we've ever tasted!
Spending time together, making our own fun and trusting God to fill in the gaps was a gift. It kept us on track to not miss the true meaning of Christmas.
It made the stable and Mary and Joseph in a jam feel familiar.
I often fretted and wondered why the Lord didn't seem to bless us like He had most of our well healed friends but now in looking back I understand He gave us the greatest gift of "not enough."

1 comment:

  1. I thought the other day of the cookie exchange cookies you had- absolute masterpieces every one- in a huge tin- and "the boys" sitting around eating them in bulk like vanilla wafers until you made a quick switcheroo, recoginizing that quantity not quality was the name of the game for college age boys!
    Will you be in my neck of the woods any time during the holidays?