Christmas in our home is probably like in any other Christian home. We have our traditions, but keeping Christ in the center is very important. It’s easy to get distracted by all that has to be completed, but because we have the support of our community and surrounding areas, we are able to offer our boys a Christmas they will never forget.
On Christmas Eve we attend a candlelight service to hear the Christmas Story of Christ’s birth and sing Christmas songs. At the end of the service, our Pastor lights his candle and shares his light with our deacons, who then spread their lights to all in attendance. It is a reminder that we are God’s light to shine for others to see his glory.
After the service, we come home to a family dinner and our dear friend Christopher Stamps reads the boys the Christmas Story again. As a family we sing songs and enjoy each others company. Soon, it is bedtime and like every child on Christmas Eve, our boys aren’t ready for bed in anticipation of what tomorrow holds. The newer children have heard our older boys talk about how amazing their Christmas was the year before, and they don’t know what to believe! Finally, all the kids get settled in their room, awaiting sleep. Greg and I can then settle in for a quick four-hour-or-less sleep!
In our home, like many others, Christmas morning comes too fast for the adults and not fast enough for the children. My daughter has chosen to be the one who wakes up on Christmas morning with the boys, and they are all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed waiting on Greg and me to crawl out of bed ever so slowly. One particular Christmas, there was a big box we wrapped in Christmas paper to throw away our trash when we were done opening gifts, and we walked out of our room to this box turned upside-down in the hallway. One of our smaller boys had hidden in it and popped up yelling, trying to scare us. We just laughed! He was so excited to open his presents that the other boys put him in the box to calm him down.
Come Christmas morning, each child has a pile of gifts with a stocking or two in front. With 8 to 10 kids, we have a full room! There is hardly a place to sit! They get so excited to walk into a room with a lit Christmas tree and presents everywhere! They know that Christmas isn’t all about the gifts, but I want everyone to know just how excited they get about that part of their Christmas experience.
In our home, we also teach our boys how to give back. We are all servants of God and it is our responsibility to be a servant for Christ. One way we teach this is by picking out a family or individual to help during the Christmas season. The boys all know that this journey in life isn’t just about them, but what they can do for others. Some learn quicker than others, but they all know that it is one of the most important things Greg and I try to teach them with our words and actions. It is such a blessing when we hear one of the seasoned boys ask who we will pick to bless this Christmas!
For our family, each Christmas is filled with change. We have boys that are with us for a few short years, and boys that are with us until they graduate high school and move on. But each Christmas is filled with the same joy for us. We have had the privilege to see the lives of these boys changing day-in and day-out. Not all choose the right path, but we try to lead them to choose it! Our prayer is that we have planted the seed and even if we don’t see it take root while those boys are with us, that another would come along and water that seed. Thank you for allowing us to plant those seeds. Without your support these children wouldn’t have the Christmas, or the life, that they have now. I am so blessed to see the daily walk these boys are taking and the progress they are making in changing their lives. It’s not all a bed of roses, but when you step back and look at the bigger and eternal picture, I know we have made a difference for Christ in the hearts of these boys.
May you all have a blessed Christmas, and a happy New Year!
- Kim Julian