Sabrina’s Christmas List

About ten days ago, my 6 year old Sabrina decided it was time she sat down to write her Christmas list.  After all, everyone was asking her what was on it so she felt she needed to have an answer.

She found a quiet spot and gingerly applied herself to this exiting task.

She stayed close to where I was but did not share anything about what she was writing. Now that she is learning to write she’s enjoying sounding out words and writing them phonetically on her own.  It’s exiting to watch her beam with pride as she writes her various master pieces.

As I folded laundry I could see her busily writing, then looking up, pensive, obviously wondering about what else she should put on there… Then she’d smile in a priceless “ah-ha” moment with a twinkle in her eye and feverishly write something else. She filled up two pages before she was satisfied with her work.

Sabrina list

After giving her list a final “once-over”, she asked me for an envelope so she could keep it secret.  She placed her list in the envelope and sealed it without my having a chance to even take a peek!  I tried to pry a little to find out what she was wishing for, but she wouldn’t say a thing!

Then a few days later, she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and that gorgeous little smile of hers and said “mommy, I know you’re going to get a new phone very soon!” “Oh really my love, why is that?”  “Because I asked Santa for one, since yours is broken.”

That’s when I realized  why she was so happy and so secretive as she was writing her list.  She wasn’t filling it with toys and other things she wanted for herself, she was thinking about what would make other members of the family really happy!

It reminded me of a Christmas episode from “The Little House on The Prairie”, where every family member secretly works towards getting another family member something very meaningful to them. Mary, the oldest daughter, stays extra hours with the seamstress to make her dad a beautiful blazer. Charles Ingalls finds extra work making a pair of wagon wheels so that he may buy his wife a stove, even though Mr. Olsen tells him he may not have one on time for Christmas.  He is  also lovingly restoring a beautiful saddle for Laura. But  Laura, meanwhile, makes a secret deal with Mr. Olsen.  She agrees to sell him her prized horse in exchange for the stove her mother dreams of.  And little Carrie saves up her pennies to buy a beautiful star to place in the window to let Jesus know that she loves Him with all her heart.

On Christmas morning, when the family opens their presents, Mrs Ingalls seeing the blazer her daughter has made for her father, discreetly hides the one she herself made in the same fabric.  And when Laura opens up her present from her father, she runs into the barn crying… It’s only a few minutes later, when Mr. Olsen comes to deliver the stove, and pick up Laura’s horse, that her father understands why.

I’ve always loved this particular episode of the Little House on the Prairie, and I enjoy watching it with the girls every Christmas season.  With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and today’s emphasis on buying lots of stuff,  it’s a beautiful reminder of what Christmas is really all about. The focus of every family member is on giving, and not on receiving.  Every gift is carefully selected and a lot of sacrifice goes into making the gift.  And each family member is overjoyed by this simple and powerful giving, the giving of self.   This is the best reminder of the most precious gift God made to us on that first Christmas night.  And as we carefully prepare our own gifts for our loved ones, giving thought to what will touch them in a special way, it is the love that we pour into it and share with one another that is the greatest gift of all.

So as I think about Sabrina’s list and what she may have put on it, I can’t help but smile knowing that, despite the bombardment of advertisements, she knows the real meaning of Christmas.  Since making her Christmas list, she has lovingly made something special for every member of the family.  And I know, that no matter what Santa may bring, those handmade gifts and the love that she poured into them will be the most treasured of all.

Wishing you a beautiful Christmas filled with love.

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