Monday, December 6, 2010

To Tree or Not To Tree?


I LOVE my Christmas tree! Each year, I make Joe get a bigger and better one than last year's. I LOVE my ornaments. I LOVE the home-made garland the girls make with me. I LOVE the hundreds of white lights we put on the tree. I LOVE sitting in the family room late at night after the kids have gone to bed, just staring at the tree. I LOVE the new ornaments my kids get each year and watching them put their special ornaments in special spots. I LOVE hiding the pickle, and anxiously waiting to find out which child will spot it first (it's always Eleanor - the one with enough patience).

So, why in the world would I even think about not putting up a tree this year?

God is asking me.

Last night, as we slurped up hot bowls of chili, I mustered up enough courage to quietly ask the family this question. "So, what would you think if we took the money we usually spend on a Christmas tree and instead buy a couple of chickens and a goat for a family in Africa through World Vision?"

Silence.

A few more slurps.


Finally, Isabel (the brave one) cried out, "But I LOVE our Christmas tree! Can't we do both?"

"No. That's not the point. Can we give up our much beloved tree and ornaments for one year? We could always bring home the little fake tree that is at Daddy's work."

"But it is so...tiny....and fake!"

"I know. Will you just pray about it?"

So, we finished dinner asking the kids to pray about this decision. I never knew how much it would affect my children to ask them to give up a Christmas tree. Harry moped about for an hour or so (that was absolutely shocking to Joe and I!) until we remembered that he is the one who struggles the most fighting the desires of the THINGS of this world. Isabel had made it clear what she was thinking. George and Lincoln - well, they are easily appeased with the knowledge that yes, they will get presents even if there is no tree. Eleanor was contemplative and said she would let us know what she was thinking tomorrow.

We'll talk about this at dinner tonight. I pulled out the World Vision catalog so the kids can see exactly what we are talking about. They each studied it a few weeks ago, but now it is real. And I am asking them to sacrifice.

I'll let you know what they decide.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

I admire how you welcome challenge in your lives and love seeing how God continues to work in each of you! BTW...call AJ if you need plumbing help still - I know he would insist on helping however he could!