Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Greatest Gifts....

This morning I woke up and donned my Christmas sweatshirt in anticipation of joining the elementary students at Olivia's school for what I hoped would be a morning full of fun and shopping at Santa's Workshop. Honestly, I wish I could say that I was looking forward to the experience with a joy-filled heart...but I must admit I was dreading it just a bit. Frankly, I didn't know what to expect, having never volunteered at Santa's Workshop in years prior.

When I arrived, the tables were filled to overflowing with gifts for every age group. Bibs and bobbleheads, screwdrivers and ice scrapers, crayons and candles - even a huge stack of T-shirts proudly printed with the Pittsburgh Steelers logo which Wendi, the elf-in-charge, had managed to snag from a JCPenney's sales rack at a mere $1.99 each! (Marked up to $2.50 for the sale - the school makes a small profit and there will be a lot of happy Steelers fans on Christmas morning!) I was amazed at the large variety of items that had been donated and watched quietly from my post as "Elf-in-charge-of-wrapping-breakable-items-to-insure-that-they-survive-the-bus-ride-home" as the children streamed in with excited exclamations!

"Look at all those toys on that table, do you think I can buy something for me too?!"
"This is going to be super!"
"My Mom HAS to let me wrap these presents because I'm the one doing all the shopping!"
"I can't wait! How much am I allowed to spend?!"

....those were just a few of the things I heard as the kids got their first glance of the huge array of gifts spread before them.

As the minutes ticked by and I wrapped dozens of breakable ornaments, candle holders, coffee mugs and picture frames, I was blessed by the conversations I had with each child who visited my table. One young boy handed me a Christmas mug with its matching ceramic coaster and said, "I'm buying this mug for my Grandma Sue because she gets up very early every day and has a cup of coffee and reads her Bible."

I stopped and looked up from my wrapping as he continued to name each person for whom he had chosen a gift and shared with me the reason behind each purchase. I don't remember any of the other gifts or any of the other reasons, because I was so struck by his comments about his beloved Grandma Sue. And I wondered if Grandma Sue is aware of the awesome legacy she is leaving in her precious Grandson's heart...teaching him the importance of God's Word through her actions. I wonder if she knows how a simple cup of coffee and time with God and her Bible is touching lives around her. Not just the lives of her family, who see her devotion, but also the lives of those wrapping up breakable items at the school's Santa's Workshop!

Grandma Sue reminded me to pay more attention to the legacy that I'm leaving my daughter, Olivia. I pray that Olivia recognizes, as she observes me, the importance of serving the Lord. I'm afraid that I fall far short in so many more ways than I care to think...

So Lord, thank You, for this reminder to pay more attention to the legacy that I leave behind, for that indeed, is the greatest gift I can give my daughter.

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely
so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen
or let them slip from your heart
as long as you live.
Teach them to your children
and to their children after them.
-Deuteronomy 4:9


Pat said...

I have received gifts from Sants workshop in the past, they are priceless. I think you got the best gift of all to be able to interact with the children and hear thir stories like the one about Grandma Sue. Sometime we arent aware of how much our daily routine makes an impression of those we love. That's the same "gift" Hal's grandmother left blessed to recieve such a priceless gift.
Great post!

Constance said...

One of my most treasured possesios came through the Santa's Workshop at school, Charlie gave me a mug that says,
"World's Greatest Mom"
on it. Every morning I have my coffee in it and I am reminded of my little boy all grown up into a fine young man!

Trish said...

I have already received my annual coffee mug from Ian and a beautiful Christmas tree from Emilee that is proudly on display in my bathroom.
In the words of my Mom-in-law "Children make life worth living."
And they leave lasting impressions and in their sweet innocence don't even know it!

Rebecca said...

What a thoughtful young man! What a message for all of us "grammas"!

Mrs. Mac said...

What a blessed day it turned out to be Deb! What a great grandma this young man has to set a good example for him ... and he is reminded of her actions that speak louder than words!

donna said...

love stories like this one...