Here we are sitting with our stomachs lopping over our pants because we've just consumed obnoxious amounts of cinnamon rolls. I'm going to fire hydrant you with this Christmas post and try not to overwhelm you in the details.
After breakfast, our helper was prepping the fish for lunch. It was clearly dead, but the nerves were making the tail wag and the mouth move in mockery that he has gotten the last laugh. It was our own Christmas Story "duck-with-its-head-on" moment. (We showed our kids that movie for the first time this year and they totally didn't get why the Americans were screaming at that duck scene. They also didn't know why the Chinese singing was funny. This whole third culture kid thing can be outright hilarious to the parents.)
The kids each presented their charities that they were giving their Christmas money to. We do little stuff in the stockings and then all the money we would spend on gifts goes to charities that the older kids have chosen, researched, and put into a presentation. I love this part. Malachi picked World Vision. He has really been struck with the realities of poverty lately. On Brain Pop, they have a simulation where you try and keep a poor Haitian family health and fed by making decisions about where to work and how to get education. He has become frustrated because he has lost the game every time. He has come to me several times saying, "Mom, it is almost impossible to get this family out of poverty!"I think he's beginning to get understand that reality this year.
Selah put together several boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We loved their online option where she could customize the boxes and then have them sent straight from the website. She really wanted to see a child joyful this Christmas.
Charis supported Heartline Ministries in Haiti. She wanted to help children and their moms this year. This was the first time she has gotten to pick a charity and do a presentation on her own. Trying to explain the realities of malnutrition and extreme poverty can be tricky. We don't just want children who pity the poor. We desire to build compassionate action-takers. She was pretty blown away that she got to have a part in keeping a baby healthy.
Selah put together a scavenger hunt for the boys because she knew they loved to run around and act like ninjas. She figured it would help them get out some of that extra energy. Gotta love those first borns.
If you follow me on Facebook, you already know that our Christmas glee was accompanied by our neighbor's apartment reconstruction. All day Christmas day, we had multiple jack hammers and sledge hammers pounding out remodeling downstairs. We all limped out smiles because well...it's Christmas. If Mary can give birth in a barn, we can certainly withstand a little modern racket. So this year we piled into the least noisy bedroom and watched The Nativity Story. I feel like this movie ethnically, was appropriately cast. I love that. It's also a beautiful side to the story with focuses much more and the back stage drama and shame involving Mary's "gift." That's been a powerful emphasis to the story for me this year.
We hope you all had a fantastic holiday season. May 2013 be a year that we dig our heals deep into understanding Jesus' words.