christmas traditions with toni
I absolutely love the holiday season. But like so many of you, I tend to get caught up in the busyness of it all and lose focus on what Christmas is all about. A few years ago, I was pulling my hair out from all I had to do and thought enough is enough! So I took an afternoon to read a short little book called The Christmas Jar by Jason Wright. It was a very easy read and only took me a few hours to finish. But let me tell you, it rocked my world. I remember sitting on my couch, surrounded by my family when I got to a part in the book that made me bawl my face off. This simple book gave me such a different outlook and therein provided us with a new tradition that we have kept ever since.
The premise of The Christmas Jar is to collect your change in a jar (ours is on top of our refrigerator) and on Christmas Eve, anonymously give it to a family in need. Or to a stranger you might see who looks like he or she could use it. That first year, we gave it to a woman from church who we did not know at all but had heard was a little down on her luck. My young family sat in our car and watched my husband navigate his way through bushes and across her driveway to leave this jar and a copy of the book on her doorstep. He had to ring the doorbell and bolt as to not be caught by the houseful of people she had gathered inside. It was actually quite hilarious and completely rewarding.
Each year we think and pray about who we are going to give our jar to and then on Christmas Eve, we set out to deliver our gift. Let me tell you, each time we have done this, we are reminded that it is much better to give than receive. And it also brings us back to what the first gift of Christmas was, and that was LOVE.