Forest Lake Talks

Elf Tree Gifts – JOY

December 14, 2018

It is a joy to look around at all the Elf Tree gifts arriving this week. When the Christmas trees are set up and covered with tags to choose from, it seems as if there are more children than we can serve. But watching members and families stand around the tree and chose carefully the child or children they want to buy gifts for is a joyful sight.  I admit, this takes a bit of choosing on my part as well.  I like to look for a little boy that reminds me of who my children were in their younger years.

I find joy in going shopping with my husband to find 'just the right gift' for the little boy we will never meet.  It is heartwarming to wrap the gifts and make them look the best possible as I imagine the joy on his face as he opens the gifts.

Looking at all the gifts lining the room and hall of Forest Lake is a wonderful sight.  The 170 children and their families that will experience God's love and care through the giving hearts of our church family reminds me that Christmas is more about spreading joy through giving to others.  During an Advent Sunday School lesson last Sunday, Jennifer Catoe said it this way:  "If you want to see JOY at Christmas, remember to put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last."  What a beautiful thing to remember, not just for Christmas, but always.

-- Andrea Paschal

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