Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Jars

I just finished reading a wonderful little Christmas book that we could all glean a valuable lesson from: " It is more blessed to give than to receive." The book is by Jason F. Wright entitled "Christmas Jars." I will try to capsulize the story for you.

It begins with a very young couple just married not having enough money for each other a Christmas gift their first Christmas together. They came up with the idea of putting all their loose change in a jar every evening for the whole month of December and whatever there was in the jar at Christmas Eve, they would divide and use the money for each other a gift to put under the tree. The first year they only saved $13.00 for each other a gift. However, they decided to continue the tradition for each subsequent Christmas after that starting earlier and earlier in the year so they would have more to spend when Christmas rolled around. After they had their first child, a daughter, they divided the change in the jar including her as well. One year when their daughter was about six years old, they were taking their Christmas jar to the bank to get the coins turned into dollars. On the way to the bank, the daughter sees this woman sitting on the curb crying. She goes to her side and talks to her, then quietly leaves the Christmas jar filled with money by her side. The mother and father could not scold her, but gently told her that was a very sacrificial thing to do on Christmas Eve. Then it was decided year after year by this family to follow the tradition of giving their Christmas jar to someone needy. The blessings were so many to recount that at the end of the father's life and after his funeral, so many people came to pay their family tribute for helping them out in dire times by bringing jars and jars to their doorstep with many many stories of how that Christmas jar gave them a new start and new outlook on life.

Giving is so prevalent at this time of year----but is it truly sacrificial? I think God would approve of us giving in a sacrificial way to one of his needy children. There are thousands of ways to give other than money. Maybe God will lead you to figure a way to give sacrificially this year to someone who is less fortunate than we are. Giving of our time to someone who is lonely in a nursing home, helping feed the hungry at a mission house, giving a toy to a child who would otherwise not have one, decorating a tree and taking it to a home who could not afford one, volunteeering your time to a young mother with small children to allow her time to herself. So many ways to let other people know you care and wish for them a merrier Christmas and a blessed new year.

Maybe even the idea of a Christmas jar for next Christmas appeals to you---all it would cost you is your small pocket change every evening placed in a jar. God will show you who might be blessed by that small change next Christmas. If you have small children, it would be an excellent way to teach them that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

May your Christmas be merry and bright!


Anonymous Jason Wright said...

What a great summary! So glad you liked the book. I'd love to hear how it goes giving away your own Christmas Jar this year :-)

2:43 AM  
Blogger Sandy Fewell said...

Mr. Wright--I am so humbly honored---first, that you read my blog, and secondly that you replied to it. I loved your book! Even though I didn't have time to have an actual jar for this Christmas season, my husband and I applied the principle behind it by helping a single woman raising two teenage boys pay her bills for December. It truly is a joy and a blessing to give. The jar is a beautiful principle and I trust we will make it a tradition. The world would be a better place if everyone would do the same. Thank you again for your kind reply to my blog!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Aline said...

Aunt Sandy,
How wonderful it must feel to know that at the end of your life, you have made such a difference in other people's lives; you are truly an angel sent from heaven. I'm sure your porch will be overflowing with "Christmas Jars" Love you so much, Aline

4:11 AM  

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