Wednesday, December 1, 2010

partridges and a pear trees

This first of December morning, the kids and I read Luke chapter 2.  We talked about presents and angels and shepherds and gingerbread houses and why the baby Jesus in our nativity is naked and so many other things that swirl around like snow flurries in the heads of children at Christmas time.
Lord, help me to show them the truth...
"Do you know what a Partridge is? It is a small bird that looks like a little brown chicken. This brave bird is willing to give its life to defend its babies from harm. Who does the partridge remind you of? Think of the one person who willingly gave his life for you..."
(from the 12 Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle)
One of the highlights of my year is Christmas gift shopping for family members, particularly the one person on my list drawn from a hat among my parents, siblings and in-laws (also known as "the Day clan", most of which are in the photo above). This year, my sister suggested we think about giving charitable gifts and the whole family quickly embraced the idea.
You may have noticed the list forming on the right side of this page in recent weeks.  The more I "shop", the more ways I find to gift gifts that give so much more and the more I want to give!
In honor of friends and loved ones who "already have everything", we can give clean water, medicines, even soccer balls and music lessons to impoverished families in Africa.  We can purchase and give beautiful jewelry made by women rescued from sexual slavery in Thailand or hand-sewn items created by women of Haiti.
This is the kind of giving that reminds me of the reason we celebrate Christmas. These are the gifts that bring lasting help, hope, joy- life!
This is what I want to teach my children.
The more I see the needs of precious souls around the world -needs for rescue from sickness, disease, crime, sorrow- the more I am struck by the riches in our lives. We have been blessed beyond measure with worldly comforts and possessions, physical health, safety and a loving community of friends and family.  There is no shame in this wealth, but a great responsibility to give back, to share as much as we can.  If we can give our children new legos, books and bicycles (as we plan to do), we can also joyfully place a few things in the Toys for Tots bin.
At Christmas time, we wear our best and smile for pictures, we uphold traditions, we find joy in sugar sprinkles and twinkling lights and we give out of love. Christmas is for memories such as these. It is for remembering the greatest gift ever given -a Rescuer. Not everyone has heard about that gift and what better way to tell them, than by living it?
"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'" Luke 2:10-11

What does the partridge remind you of?


  1. Wonderful (and welcome) reminders today, Kelli. Thank you.

  2. What a lovely post! I've noticed your list and visited a few of the sites - they are all so great!

    As for for your naked baby Jesus, my mom and I took my niece and nephews to a local plant farm that decorates for Christmas last Saturday. They had a nativity set up, and baby Jesus was wrapped in pink swaddling clothes. My oldest nephew asked my niece who that baby was. She said "Jesus." And he said, "no, it's a girl, see the pink blanket." When he asked me about it, I told him they had to wrap Jesus in what was available and I'm sure Mary wore the pink cloth.

  3. What a beautiful post. Thank you for the reminders and you have given me more than a few things to think about this season.

  4. You made me cry -- beautiful reminders.

  5. GREAT post, friend. Our youth at church has been partnering with Living Water International for a couple of years now, helping to drill clean water wells in communities around the world (specifically in Guatemala for us). The kids LOVE getting behind this mission - we've got 2, maybe 3, trips planned for 2011, and we can take about 9 kids with us each time to help manually dig and fortify the wells. Our youth (plus donations from our church members) has raised funds to provide about 12 wells so far to those who need it.
    This year, our church's Advent Conspiracy focus is on the orphans and fatherless. We're partnering with a group called As Our Own who seeks to rescue young girls in India from a life of child slavery/prostitution - many of whom are born as a result of their mothers being held captive in the same lifestyle.
    I am amazed at the heart and generosity of others when the information is made available... and when eyes and ears are opened. God is good, and He is up to some amazing stuff when I hear of friends and family members across the country desiring to "get" ducks and goats for Christmas, as a gift on their behalf through an organization like World Vision. Amazing stuff indeed.
    "A little child shall lead them..." " the least of these."

  6. Great post! Loved it. Here's another for our ever-growing list: Samaritan's Purse Christmas boxes. We had so much fun filling up a shoebox with Christmas gifts for a 4-year-old boy, something everyone in Thad's class was asked to do. Samaritan's Purse delivers the gifts to kids who are suffering through poverty, neglect, or war. We even included a photo of Thad and his address in the box. They say the children sometimes write to their gift-givers. This is one we'll definitely try to do every year.


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