I had no idea how blessed I was when Handsome entered my life. He brought out the best in me from the moment I met him. He loved and accepted my four daughters – 2 teens, 1 preteen and a toddler; he made sure broken things were fixed in my home (like when he replaced my dryer while we were still dating); he even got down on his knee and serenaded my mother at her work! What was not to love about this man!?
Over the years, more goodness has been revealed. I simply love his heart and how he desires to serve others and be a great provider. Good men are not made by some cosmic happenstance, rather they are built… by good parents… and good parents do not raise just one great child but all are usually pretty great kids. That is definitely true for my in-law family. I am thankful and tremendously blessed with a wonderful mother in law. My father in law is pretty special too but Mom really fills that mother in law void that I had. My two sisters and brother in law are also spectacular people that have accepted me from the very beginning nine years ago.
One of the greatest treasures about this family is their love of people and their desire to reach out and bless others. Although they have done this in many ways, one of my favorites is their Christmas giving spirit! That first Christmas I had with them while Handsome and I were engaged, they invited my girls to participate in their 3rd Annual Christmas Dinner Theater. They had all of their kids, 9 under the age of 9 at the time, put on a simple Christmas production in the living room while serving a spaghetti dinner to friends and family that attended. They took up a donation and blessed a local family in need with the proceeds.
It was simple. It was precious. It taught the children to do something to give to others.
The following year we realized that we had outgrown the humble living room and would need a larger area to serve and perform for the regular attendees so we used Mom’s church. Our numbers grew as a result and we continued to perform an annual Christmas Dinner Theater for seven more years. Every year we chose a different recipient of our proceeds and our humble performances allowed us to bless others with several thousand dollars over those years.
Two years ago, three of the four siblings moved away, each in different directions. We suddenly found the Christmas Dinner Theater a larger feat to accomplish. 2015 we held our 10th Annual and final event. It was magnificent. The attendees shared their sadness over our finality as they had watched the children literally grow up on the stage over the years.
This year, knowing that we would not be hosting the Christmas Dinner Theater, we needed to find another way to give back to others. It was not the performing that brought so much joy to us all (although it was a joy to perform) it was the ability to give to others.
We decided to find another way.
We all met at Mom’s/Grandma’s on Sunday night so that the kiddos (which are not so little anymore) could bake sugar cookies. The following morning we took those cookies and the supplies needed to decorate them to the local nursing home. We gathered together and sang a beautiful lineup of Christmas carols and the kids gathered around the residents and helped them decorate their cookies.
It’s another chapter for us as a family to continue to find ways to bless others during the Christmas season. Although it blesses others, we are the ones left with the greatest blessing. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this family and their desire to teach their children that Christmas is not about ourselves… its about the gift of Jesus… His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection as the greatest gift to us all. Our giving to others could not even begin to compare to His gift but it is a way to share His love for others through us.
How do you give to others during this season? We need ideas of other things we can do for the years to come.