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Hey there, I'm Sunny Shell, a wretch saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. I'm married to the most incredible man on earth, who loves Jesus more than he loves me, and we have two precious adult sons.

The compassionately endures me through my metabolic disease (since 2004) that enables me to be more prayerful and careful about commitments I make and helps me to make the best use of my short time here on earth.

If you want to know more about me, click HERE.

What can we give our children for Christmas?

My husband and I weren't raised in the best homes. I was raised amongst Korean-Buddhist where there was no mention of Christ at all, instead there was idol worship. Thanks be to God, He chose me for Himself and saved me at age four after providing me a way to bus, where I heard the Gospel for the first time! My darling husband was raised in a professing Christian home, but not by the standards of God or anything written in His word, but by the erroneous standards and beliefs of his parents that God wants people to be happy, no matter what. Thanks be to God He saved my darling husband when he was six and He faithfully drew my husband to His word and his spirit to seek Christ, in spite of his family's hypocrisy. With this background, it's clear that neither of us had any training on what a God-loving, Christ-honoring home looked like. We were clueless; and we knew it! Knowing this was a blessing! Why? Because we chose not to hide from the truth, we were able to rely solely on God's word and the leading of His Holy Spirit to teach us what a family that pleased Him looked like. For the most part, we were clean slates and were ready to give our children what we never had: a solid, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centered home!

One of the things we wanted to cover first, was Christmas -- a very confusing and exciting time for little ones. Do we tell them about and make them believe in Santa Claus like the world and even some other Christian parents? Do we go entirely the other direction and not celebrate it at all by means of legalism? Do we make a compromise and celebrate Santa Claus and throw Jesus' name in there as a bonus?

We chose to educate them about the truth vs. the fable of Santa Claus while focusing whole-heartedly on Christ, how He came and why He came. We also chose to make Christmas gifts more about Christ and less about us. We chose to give to our children "gifts" that can't be purchased:
  • The Gospel of Christ
  • Taking God's example of giving as others need and not so they'll think well of us
  • Gift-giving should be a daily focus, not gift-getting at Christmas or any time
  • Gifts should be thoughtful and considerate of the recipient, not reflect the personality and desires of the giver
  • Gifts are from the heart and are full of love, not from obligation or for appearances
  • To give as God gave us, with great love, freely and generously; giving to others more than we expect or hope to receive
Of course, we purchase them some gifts, but we never go overboard. And because we've given the aforementioned gifts to our children, they haven't asked us for gifts in years; instead they just say, "Get me whatever you think is best. I always like your ideas better!" So there is no "list" to check off! They appreciate that we've relieved them of the burden and struggle of focusing too much on self.

So this Christmas, regardless of your financial situation, give your children the best gifts: the gift of the Gospel, lessons on how to give as God gave us and show them how to do it by doing it yourself as you thoughtfully consider what each child needs, not just what they desire.

Never deny your children, the luxury of want. A child who is always filled with everything they want, is a child always full of themselves.

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  1. Great post, Sunny!
    Knowing the right way to give is a lost art. Being able to receive a gift is a great skill, too.
    I'm sure your children will carry these truths all through their life.

  2. Alicia The SnowflakeDecember 9, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    Amen! It's important to teach children that Christmas is not all about what they want. It's about the Gospel of Christ. We have tried to instill this in our son. There are some days where I think we've gotten it right & others when I wonder. Thanks for the great ideas!


"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." ~ C.T. Studd
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