A Case For Christmas Giving

She never knew just how difficult the holidays would be without him. It was hard to believe that their once, happy marriage was suddenly over. They divorced in the fall of that year. Still, the pain and heartbreak of their divorce continued to penetrate the deepest places of her heart. She was not looking forward to the Christmas season this year.

She had always loved Christmas-the shopping and wrapping gifts, sending Christmas cards, and decorating their home. But somehow, the Christmas spirit just seemed to be absent in her heart this year.

What she would miss most of all was their family tradition of having daddy lift their little boy up to the top of the tree to place his handmade Angel on top of the tree.

She worried too, about her two children. She had no idea how she could possibly provide them with the Christmas gifts they wanted this year. It was all she could do just to manage to pay the bills each month. The holidays were hitting her especially hard.

Weary and alone, she prayed, "Father, I need your help. I don't know how I'm ever going to be able to do this by myself. I don't even know how to ask you this, Lord, but could you somehow help me make Christmas this year, special for my kids? They don't need much, but they do need a little something, and right now Lord, you know I just can't do it on my own. Help us, most of all, to see You this Christmas. Amen."

That was all she knew for sure-that God cared about her kids too, just as He loves his own Son. And she knew that God loved her kids even more than she did. She'd always known that Christmas Joy isn't something that can be purchased or wrapped up in pretty packages. She knew that somehow, God would provide them with a Christmas that they would always treasure.

Right before Christmas, a plain white envelope arrived in the mail. It came with no return address. As she pulled out the note inside, a crisp new fifty-dollar bill fell out onto the table. The note read, "Because we care~ Merry Christmas!"

Her tear-filled eyes poured down like rain. She tried for a minute to figure out who this could be from. But it didn't matter-- God knew.

Someone with a wonderful, caring, heart knew of her situation, and cared enough to share the gift of Christmas as is was meant to be. A gift given in humbleness, given in quietness, and most of all, given in Love.

She was able to purchase two presents with the anonymous gift, one for each child. The gifts would be extra-special, due to the outstretched hand of love that came in the envelope that day, from her "Unseen Angel."

On Christmas morning, as the kids opened their gifts, she could tell that she had chosen "just the right" gifts with the "Unseen Angel's" gift. Her gift though, was seeing her children smile!

Later that morning, their dad arrived to pick the children up. The older of the two children hugged her mom the tightest. She knew that it would be her mother's first holiday without them. Looking back, and seeing her mom standing in the doorway, waving good-bye and blowing them a kiss almost broke her heart.

The old house was oh-so-quiet without the kids. Shortly after lunch, the telephone rang. It was a special friend, who had remembered her on this holiday, just calling to say, "I love you." Another unexpected gift that helped to make the day more bearable.

When the kids arrived home, they unpacked their "load" of presents from Christmas with dad. It was quite apparent that they were showered with nice things.

"It's good to be home, mom," the kids said, as they hugged their mom, tighter than ever before.

That night, the young girl wrote in her diary:

"It just wasn't the same," she began. "We didn't get much, but it didn't matter at all to us. We knew that things would be tight. What we didn't know though, was that somebody would care enough about us to send money to mom, just so we could have something extra for Christmas. Thank you God, that you know who that person was, and how MUCH it meant to all of us-especially mom."

"I guess you could say we had small Christmas with mom, a big Christmas with dad, and then we came back home . . . where there was Love! I learned a very important lesson this year. At Christmas, what matters more than expensive gifts or anything else, is LOVE!"

Thank you God for your gift of Love, through Jesus, at Christmas.

*This Christmas, you just might ask God to give you the name of someone who you could become a "Unseen Angel" for, at Christmas. Whether it be an anonymous gift given to someone who's struggling, or even just a simple phone call just to let someone know that you care. It would mean so much to a single mother, father, or to a family that's struggling financially. You just might be that answered prayer in someone's life.

*Ask God to show you today, who you can help bring the gift of Love to this holiday season.

[ By: Angie Shaw -- from 'The Encourager' ]


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