You know those calendars that are numbered 1-24 and you get to pick something out to eat or to do or to read each day leading up to Christmas? Well, for this year, my mom said we will have a really special one. But when the first day of December rolled around, I didn’t see any calendar at all. Yes, that is some sneaky, invisible calendar. Brother asked Mom a few times at the store for those chocolate calendars and this year why not get one for each of us, not just for us to share? But Mom had her mind made up. “I already have one for this year.” she said.
She came into the kitchen with a shoe box all decorated in wrapping paper and a paper and pen, with 24 numbers written scattered on the paper. What was this for? I wondered quite suspiciously. The box was empty. Nothing at all to pick out of it. “We’re doing our advent calendar in reverse this year.” she said. What? In reverse? How mixed up and reverse is that? I thought.
Mom then explained: “You see, we usually get to pick something out for each day leading up to Christmas. But this year, we will put something in instead. At the end of the month, we will gift this box to someone who could really use a Christmas present.” Ohhhhh! (Notice the Aha! Moment.) So that explained the empty box and the empty paper.
Mom began to write down some things while I enjoyed a piece of pumpkin pie. As she neared number 6 I was eating my second piece of pie. When will this end? I thought. Okay, she stopped at 7 and then passed the paper on to me and Brother, for us to write anything we could think of that we could and would like to give and add to the box. We filled a few more empty spaces on the paper but couldn’t think of anything else. Mom put the paper aside and picked out the first thing on the paper to give and added it to the box. Number 1, done! The next day, we put in the second thing on the list. And on and on we’ll do until the 24th.
I guess that could be okay, filling up a box and on Jesus’ birthday giving it to someone in need. That’s really the best give we could give Jesus after all. Whatever I do for someone else, I’m doing it to Him. That makes it real and concrete, not just imaginary. I told Brother that we don’t really need chocolates every day. We get plenty of good food and even nice tasty treats and desserts or cookies Mom makes us. That’s enough. Many people get nothing at all for Christmas. I guess that kind of makes me a part of their Christmas present, doesn’t it? I like that and most of all that I’m giving Jesus what He really likes on His birthday —my love! And not only in thoughtfulness but also through my actions.