It Wasn’t About the Presents


For Micah, it wasn’t the presents.

His favorite part of Christmas was being together as a family. When I asked the boys to share what they most liked about Christmas this year, Micah replied, “I loved being together again. Now, that Mom is done with her classes, we can talk more and do more activities again. That’s what has been great about Christmas this year.”


For Caleb, it wasn’t the presents, either.

Caleb answered, “My favorite part of Christmas was decorating the Christmas tree.” This year, the boys did the decorating feat all by themselves. Next year, I told Micah that he and his brothers will be able to assemble the tree all by themselves too. Caleb was excited by the thought even though we’re a whole year away from another Christmas. And Caleb had another favorite too. He liked lighting the advent candles and listening to the different advent devotions we read all month.


And for Jake, presents were not his favorite part of Christmas as well.

Not surprising, our foodie answered, “Mom’s cinnamon rolls!”

We enjoyed Christmas Brunch together with my grandmother’s Mayflower plates. It made me happy to bring them out for this special meal.

It’s not that the boys did not receive nice presents this year. They did. However, Christmas is something more than presents for our boys. Christmas is about being together, making memories, eating good food and celebrating the birth of our Savior.

The boys brought out their friends Tarry, Brownie and Fred to take part in Christmas too. It was fun to listen to them ‘voice’ their furry friends Christmas delight. The boys received these ‘build-a-bear’ friends on New Years Day earlier this year.

For John and me, we’re with Micah. We love being with our kids and enjoy our family Christmas traditions. Our pace of life is much slower during the month of December in South Africa. It’s a time for family, for rest, for fun, and for fellowship with friends. We love that about this time of year.

Jake LOVES Oregon and misses his home state. He wanted an Oregon calendar this year to enjoy a small taste of Oregon all year long.

The other gift we experienced was being able to make Skype calls with our families in the States. There’s nothing like having a touch point with our families and be able to share our Christmas day. Like I said, what a precious gift!

So, although presents are great, the gift of presence is what’s most important to us. The fact that our kids are learning this now, at their ages, is something we are grateful for.

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