It is that time of year again! A time of excitement, family, and joy. But where do you find your Christmas joy?
Evelyn, 12 years old, has spent many Christmases around many different trees. Born fatherless, her mother passed away when Evelyn was young and she spent most of her life being passed around orphanages and foster homes. Every year, Evelyn would ask Santa for the same thing; a real home and a real family.
This year was different. As she helped Mrs. Vance and her 3 year old daughter hang ornaments on the tree, Evelyn found it hard to get in the Christmas spirit. “Every year is the same,” she thought to herself. “I hang these beautiful hand-made ornaments, family photos, the cute little clay ornaments celebrating the first house, the first Christmas, etc. But there is no ornament for me!” She appreciated everything the families would do for her and how they would include her in their Christmas celebration. But she just didn’t belong anywhere.
That Christmas Eve, the whole family came to the house for dinner. The grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Vance, some aunts and uncles, and some cousins. Again, Evelyn felt out of place. But this was a very normal feeling. She would just smile and give hugs and show the family her appreciation. After dinner, the whole family sat around the tree. Presents filling the bottom. They all began to exchange gifts. One at a time. Evelyn was used to this. Nothing unusual. The Vance’s little girl waddled over to Evelyn, with a small red box. Evelyn smiled and said, thank you. Evelyn began to open the present. Again, this is very common. She usually gets a neat toy or new book to read. This box was very light though. And small. A book would definitely not fit in this box! She carefully unwrapped the gift, feeling everyone’s eyes in the room beaming down on her. And there it was, the ornament.
It was a clay ornament. Hand-made. A clay man, a clay woman, a clay girl, and a clay toddler, all hand-painted with their arms around each other. At the bottom was a clay banner with 1st Christmas hand-painted on it and the words, Evelyn Vance below it.
For the first time, Evelyn had her very own ornament to hang on the tree. Tears streamed down her face. She was in shock. Immediately the Vance’s surrounded her with hugs and together they hung the ornament on the tree; a tree she could now call her own. Evelyn had been adopted and for the first time, she was no longer fatherless.
It is so easy to get caught up in the commercialization of Christmas. Doesn’t December just seem to fly by? Wouldn’t it be nice to slow it down and recognize the joy that Christmas brings, beyond the opening of presents?
2000 years ago, a baby, born in a manger, changed everything. He brought us the best gift, the ultimate gift, a miracle; salvation. Because of this gift, we have all been adopted by The Father and we are no longer fatherless! There is no greater joy than that!
Isaiah 9:6 says “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! Praying for a home full of joy this Christmas!