More Christmas fictions for you to consider:
Fiction 5: Rebellious children always come back to the fold on Christmas. Maybe in novels and Hallmark movies, but this doesn't always happen in real life. I don't know if I'll have one, both, or neither of my children home this Christmas. And while I pray for them, I’ve had to accept that as adults, they are responsible for their own decisions. I’m the parent, which means I can’t react in anger (or I’ll hurt them), and I can’t mope (which will only hurt my husband and myself). So if they do come home, I’ll rejoice, but if not . . . it’s their choice. We're having Christmas no matter what. :-)
Fiction 6: Children care more about giving than receiving. LOL! Recently I was with a group of college students, and one of them suggested we go around the circle and say what we would want for Christmas “if price were no object.” They mentioned cars, toys, gadgets . . . and when it came to me, I said I’d be happy with a good idea for my next book. When we live in a materialistic society, how do we prevent children from wanting everything they see? We may not be able to stop the wanting, but we can stop the expecting. I’ve sat through Christmases where my children opened their carefully-chosen presents, sniffed at them, and asked if there was anything else. So—I suggest that you limit the presents under the tree. Consider buying gifts in categories: for each child, one toy to play with, one outfit to wear, one animal to sleep with, one book to read, one CD to listen to . . . etc. If you never establish the custom of having a toy store under the tree, the switch won’t be hard to make. For adults, why do we give anything? One year I bought a farm animal through Heifer.org and told our usual gift recipients that we were giving a farm animal in their name. Instead of giving to us, I’d encourage them to do the same. I loved the practice and may do it again next year. Why do we give each other things we don’t need? (I know, we give to show our love, but we could show the same love by giving to someone who really needs something.)
Fiction 7: At Christmastime, the entire world falls under the spell of “peace on earth.” Neighbors who never speak to you will be kinder and more gentle, because everyone understands Christmas.
Tee hee. Fought over a parking space lately?
A few years ago I wrote a novel called THE DEBT, and the writing changed my life. I stopped being a cloistered Christian and began to be a Neighbor. I stopped working to listen to a neighbor in trouble. When I heard about rumblings in the neighborhood (gossip stirring up trouble), I baked cookies and took them to neighbors’ homes, explaining that as a Christian, I would never want anyone to be upset, so let’s talk.
Last week at church staff meeting, my hubby was told that all pastors were required to be at the church musical. But we had committed to participate in our neighborhood’s progressive dinner—we’re the soup house. So hubby went to the pastor, who understood and gave his blessing for my husband to join the dinner instead. And before those neighbors left my house, I offered them a copy of THE NATIVITY STORY, so they’ll know what Christmas is really all about. Your neighbors—do you even know them? Yet they are your “Jerusalem,” the people you’re to minister to FIRST.