I have heard time and time again about how people were cutting back on spending for Christmas gifts. Sometimes this was due to loss of a job, a downturn in the economy, or just a conscious choice of spending less money or just spending it differently. So, my aunt, Pat, in Gresham, Oregon – just outside of Portland, decided to do something simple for her community and friends. She hosted a party with not Santa….but his WIFE! Her thoughts were…Santa is associated with gift-giving, but Mrs. Claus (my other Aunt Jo) is known for nothing but LOVE…and cookies! So, Mrs. Claus came to my aunt’s home not only read the Night Before Christmas, but also the biblical Christmas Story….the story of Jesus’s birth.
From the pictures, you can tell that the kids LOVED sitting at the feet of Mrs. Claus as she read. But, the surprise is…the impact that it had on the adults who attended. One woman, who had never heard the Christmas story, was touched to the point of tears. She had never felt such love at Christmas time. This has opened up an opportunity to share the Hope of Jesus with a friend and neighbor.
Aunt Pat said…
In just talking with other friends about the upcoming event (in answer to “what are you doing this weekend?”), sufficient cookies were donated that I really didn’t HAVE to buy any. Also, 2 turkeys, from different sources, were donated for two families that would not have had a turkey dinner on Christmas. One friend had won a turkey, and didn’t eat “fowl”; the other had two turkeys (I don’t know why) and shared. Some friends/family were praying to find someone to help, and God answered their prayers too.
- Cookies = Donated
- Punch/Drinks = $5
- Mrs Claus dress from Craig’s List = $20
- A changed life = priceless
You don’t have to be a seminary trained pastor or missionary to be to love your neighbor. You just need a willing and open heart, a little time, and someone willing to wear a Mrs. Claus dress! Doesn’t she look perfect?!?!?!? She just beams.
With other holidays coming up, how can this type of incarnational living be replicated for Valentine’s Day, Easter or Memorial Day?