Sorry....We interrupt this regularly scheduled program, there were no stockings hung this year!
WHAT?! NO STOCKINGS?
Every year we make an intentional effort to center our Christmas around Jesus. This year, we decided to forgo the stockings with a new twist! I have to admit, I was very skeptical on how this transition would go over with the kids. I was quite concerned that we would get alot of grumbling and complaining. Shame on me for not having more faith. My children once again surprised me.
I introduced to them the concept of Shepherd bags. We would replace our regularly hung stockings with burlap Shepherd bags. The kids would earn money to put in their bags as they did extra chores, took initiative to help, or displayed fruits of the Spirit. On Christmas Eve, we would take the bags down and the kids could donate their money to the charity of their choosing!
The response...'When can we start?!'
As the month as unfolded, I have seen my kids find delight in serving around our home. They have truly been filled with joy doing each task. I have seen more kindness displayed between them. It was a nice treat to see them be competitive as to who would earn money.
Today, we took the bags down and counted their earnings. We gladly informed them that we would 'match' their earnings. What a joy it is that they did not mind the change but gladly embraced it.
Wont they be so excited to know that tomorrow, they will get a full stocking and learn how it feels to give....you always get so much more in return!
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7