Monday, December 10, 2012


CHRISTMAS 1980 WAS THE YEAR that Linda and I threw down the Christmas gauntlet to our family. We strongly suggested, dare I say, urged our extended family that all family gifts should be “made” and not “bought.” I do believe we allowed for some crafts supplies to be purchased, but the rule was to be that all things were to be “made.” Gifts could be something built, or clothes sewn, or a poem written, the field was wide open.  The whole purpose was to make Christmas a little more personal and a whole lot less expensive.

Some of the family members refused to comply. Some gave it a little effort, but spent more and bought extra stuff too. The one who came though the best was my dad. He made a toy box in the shape of Noah’s Ark all out of scrap lumber and hardware he had laying around the house. It was made for Trinity on her first Christmas, and it has been used by all the siblings since, and still holds a place of honor in our home…awaiting the next bunch of little ones (hint-hint).

The toy box has gone through some repairs through the 32 years it has been within our family. It has traveled from Felton to La Mirada to Cokato, Minnesota, to Crescent City, California and rests comfortably back in Felton once again. It has held stuffed-animals, My Little Ponies, doll clothes, blocks and Legos. It has been sat on and in and stood on a few times, too, and yet still serves its function well. What about the other Christmas gifts from 1980? To be honest I really can’t remember them, but I am sure Linda can…she’s better at that.

Now, I am not saying that all the other gifts our family has received throughout the years were not appreciated. Nope, we have received some great gifts over the years, but what grabs me here is that the gift that cost nothing but time and love is the gift that seems to have lasted the best. We really can spend less in order that we can give more so that we can love all and in doing so worship fully the God who gave His best. That’s what turning Christmas upside-down is all about.

If you're thinking about giving gifts that change lives consider Living Water International.

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