Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Oh, To Be a Child at Christmas!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

The matching Christmas pajamas lined up on the counter signal the just-around-the- corner arrival of Christmas morning. I can almost see the five little girls who will wear them. On those years when the whole family gathers in front of my fireplace, there is a happy tumble of small blondes eager to see what Santa has brought. On years when we are scattered across several states, the matching jammies still remind Santa which grandchildren are mine.

Coordinated sleepwear is just the beginning.

Last night I spent over two hours online ordering personalized bookplates for each child. What I thought would be a simple project turned into an ordeal as I looked through hundreds of images in an effort to match each girl’s personality with the appropriate graphic. I had to remember each girl’s favorite color. I had to think about their personal styles, and their favorite animals or flowers or bugs, and the script for their names, and the size and shape of the plate, and the growing sophistication of the older two. It helps to know each child so well.

I try to choose a standard gift for all but modify according to personalities—except for the pajamas and the monogrammed Christmas ornaments. And then the stocking stuffers and other assorted goodies. And on it goes.

It is a great thing to be a child in our household on Christmas morning. Now that I think of it, most of our Christmas is geared to the young. That is how it was when the parents of the current crop were just small children themselves.

Our love is poured out as lavishly as our bank account allows. When the money runs low, our love splashes out in other ways. We bake goodies, roast marshmallows in the fireplace and play countless games around the kitchen table.

“How do I get to be a kid in your family?” a real grown-up once asked. “At the very least I want my name on your list.” It is indeed wonderful to be a child in a home where love prevails.

I know just how my children and grandchildren must feel. I feel the same way about being a child of my Heavenly Father. He knows me by name. He understands my likes and dislikes. He has a unique plan for my life. He showers me with loving-kindness and bountiful gifts.

When I look with tender love on my dear ones this Christmas, I will remember my Father who looks at me with an even greater love.

(We may not be wearing matching jammies in God’s kingdom, but we are donned in identical robes of righteous white.)