Tuesday, December 22, 2015

This Christmas Be the Gift God Wants You to Be!

Today, rather than share another Christmas carol, I want to share a few thoughts about Christmas. While it is the time of the year when we tend to be more joyful, more merry . . . at least, many of us are, it can also be a very sad time of year for some of us, our neighbors or children who go to school with our grandchildren if they are experiencing difficult times in their families. Along with helping our grandchildren worship and celebrate the birth of Jesus, we need to also help them learn how to be on the watch for those children and families who may need our help. Watch for . . . 
  • We can watch for signs of abuse. This is something to be on watch for at all times of the year, but while Christmas is a joyful time, it is also a time when families may experience more stress. This stress can result in children being abused and/or neglected. Watch for acting out, bruises, children who flinch when you reach their direction or act as if they are afraid. This is not something for your young grandchildren to deal with, but they can learn to have tender hearts and be able to comfort a friend who is sad. Help them learn when they need to keep "secrets" and when they need to share with you - like if a friend tells them someone is hurting them, they need to tell you, so you can help.
  • Signs of depression. While children do not often feel depressed, they can and their parents might as well. Look for lack of interest, a deep sadness and lack of joy. 
  • Again, this is not something your young grandchildren can really know how to handle, but you can help them learn to be people who pray for their friends when they are quite sad.
  • Signs of need. Friends of your grandchildren who always seem to wear the same clothes; particularly if the clothes are worn, may indicate a family is in need. If they always seem to be hungry, it may indicate their family is in need. If your grandchild notices a friend is in need, talk with them about what you all can do to help.
These are just a few things to watch for. While you have to balance helping your grandchildren grow to be people who have tender hearts towards the needs of others with topics/situations which are too big/old for them, Christmas is a time for important conversations about what they can do to help others . . . about how they can be the Gift God wants them to be to someone in need!

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