“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that….” Well, you know the rest of the story. We currently have six stockings hung on our mantel for our family of five. Five stockings that match – red knitted stockings, with initials on them, and one gold stocking, hanging by a small tree. Five family members, yet six stockings. Why does my family have an extra stocking? Why, it is for Jesus you see!
Yes, we have a stocking for Jesus. No, we don’t fill it with candy, toothpaste or stickers. We don’t pretend it is magical or holy. However, we do give to it. Each week. This stocking has changed our Christmas.
Before we hung the Jesus stocking, Christmas wasn’t as Christ- focused as, it was kid-focused. We rushed and we shopped. We had the children write list and circle ads. We did about a million traditions. We even had Christ name written on much of what we did. Yet, there was no giving, no thought of Christ and giving to Him -the one whose birthday we were celebrating.
So, while I was suffering the web one day, I came across the idea for a Jesus stocking. No, the idea isn’t completely original. However, it wasn’t anything I had heard of before either. Here is the basics:
1. Buy a stocking that symbolizes Christ to you. We choose gold, because it reminded us of Heaven, where Jesus was left to come here, and where He is today. Your idea might be different- but choose a stocking that will look different than the others you have. Yes, I am an OCD mom, and so having one stocking that looks different bothered me- until I remembered that I too, want to look different among others.
2. Pick someone to “Give” to – Each year, on Black Friday, my family sits down and picks a charity or family that we know that we are going to raise money for. We have done Toy-4-Tots, a family in our Sunday School class, and children at an Orphanage in Guatemala. It is important to have your children in one the process of picking WHO they will give to.
3. Give- It seems simple, but it isn’t. Each year, my family “gives up” something. We start in November (but we give the extra to our Thanksgiving offering at church) but we continue in December. This might be a certain kind of cookie, special treat, eating out – something that you might do regularly with your kids. Each week, my husband and I take the extra cash and place it in the stocking. What was surprising, even in the first year, was when my kids wanted to do extra chores, or would find spare change- or even take money out of their piggy banks – to give to the Jesus Stocking.
4. Have your children help with the gifting – Make sure your kids are part of the process of counting the money, and then, buy the toys, gifts, or needs for those you are donating to.
Why do we call it the Jesus Stocking? Well, since Jesus isn’t here on earth, we want to be His hands and feet and give to those who need it the most. That was the point of Jesus ministry- to come and help those who needed it the most- the lost. By doing this simple thing at Christmas time, we focus our kids hearts and minds on the real reason for Christmas. They are not looking at ads and focusing on what they want. They are thinking of others, and keeping their mind on Christ.
Mandy blogs about living a life of worship through her time with God, role as wife, mother and homemaker, and her passion for the Word of God and Souls of those around her. She also has a deep passion for adoption. Mandy blogs personally a Worshipful Living, and can also be found on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram