Due to her ingenuity, no one felt any stigma for not having lots of dollars. But those who had worked the most did get to go first to the table to select 2 gifts to take home for family members. Meanwhile the others were having a $1. gift exchange -and we took turns opening --to keep them busy watching each other --until it was their time to go to the "store" --the gift table to make their selections. Everyone was to wrap or bag their gift, she had tape dispenser for each one --and a son to cut paper for them. Her husband prepared a plate of kid goodies for each to eat --and at the beginning --my job was the devotional --which centered on whose birthday is it? Why do we celebrate Christmas? What did Jesus do for us? Who was He? And it was interesting to me --that most knew Jesus died for our sins --but when I asked what were the consequence of our sins --they just listed sins --and said "getting in trouble." I said we die because of sin. And Jesus came to buy us back from Satan and his hold on our lives. So that we will not die. Our bodies will be resurrected and our souls will go immediately to be with the Father. Because Jesus says He has gone to prepare a place for us, After Jesus died and resurrected from the grave, he said there are many mansions in His father's house in a place He has gone to prepare for us. And that's why, boys and girls, Christmas is such a joyous time. We are celebrating God's gift to us, His payment for our sins. With Christ's blood in His death on the cross, He has bought us back from Satan's kingdom of sin and death --to Christ's kingdom of Joy, light and everlasting life!
And then we talked to our Heavenly Father --who hears us when we call upon HIm --who is in our midst whenever 1 or 3 gather in the name of Jesus.
On the way to the party, I drove the two little guys who had lied to me about the candy --Each week someone was chosen to get all the candy out of my candy dish, with one grasp of the hand, which candy we bagged for them. Two of my students said they didn't get to dive for the candy. I was sure they had. So I talked to them about lying --how it becomes a habit either when we want to deceive someone for our own good or because we want to get out of trouble. God isn't pleased when we lie. The one boy said he had forgotten that he had received the candy one night and the other still says he didn't. I said, well, You'll just have to forgive me if I'm accusing you falsely because I and my consultant both are pretty sure we remember you getting your candy. Because they were new to the group, I especially wanted them to get theirs and I remember the point when I just had 2 students left who had not gotten to do it. And it wasn't them.
So I talked about the importance of one's word -such that others could say of them, "So and so never lies. His word is good." I said I hoped they could one day tell me the whole truth about the candy because God's Word tells us to do that --to confess when we do something we ought not.
They really are a nice group of kids.
The gifts were mostly pretty nice quality items for children to give parents. Even the things that were left over. They seemed to have a good time with each other and no one seemed to feel anything was unfair or boring.
I believe that enjoying children is one of the best things we can do for them --as well as ourselves. We aren't having any serious attitude problems with any of them --and I'm sure it's because we both really like kids --even the more difficult ones (and no, Mudly, I don't mean the Afr. Am. ones but a couple of others.)
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible