I know it looks like I've gotten my blog posts all mixed up and have skipped Thanksgiving, but I promise this is right on time!
I have a very vivid memory of one Christmas as a child. I must have been in about third grade. It was evening on Christmas day and I was curled up in the corner of my bedroom feeling completely deflated. It hadn't been magical. The gifts I got were nice, but maybe slightly disappointing (I don't remember them). I hadn't fully celebrated this day and now I'd have to wait a whole year to try again!
Then a song came over the radio, something about Jesus. A spark of joy returned. A truth to set my emotions on began to take root: Jesus is always something to celebrate.
With all the hype and build-up swirling around us this next month, how can we slow down our hearts and fix our eyes on the One who never disappoints?
In Jesus, we have great joy.
In Jesus, we have purpose (to know Him and make Him known).
In Jesus, we have peace (through His Spirit: John 14:27).
In Jesus, we have rest (Matthew 11:28-30).
In Jesus, we have comfort and help (John 14:26).
In Jesus, we have hope.
In Jesus, we have love.
In Jesus, we have unending grace and forgiveness.
Instead of gifts under our Christmas tree, a few years ago we started putting a little box that says "the greatest gift has already been given." That's all we put under the tree until Christmas morning when we put the kids' actual presents out. They love stuff (any stuff really), and presents are the topic of conversation basically all year, so this has helped to not feed that obsession. It was a really simple physical reminder for us.
This year, I made a printable "greatest gifts" treasure box for you to print already colored or to color yourself. The box shows the the Trinity, a symbol for the new heart and new Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) God gives, and a symbol for the gift of being made part of God's family and the Church (Romans 12:4-5; John 1:12).
I've been thinking about how God, in His triune self, has always given us . . . Himself. He gives Himself as our Father and King. He gives Himself as the Son, the sacrifice and Redeemer. And He gives His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, to teach, and to comfort us (John 14:26).
There's something so beautiful about the doctrine of the Trinity, and all three Persons at work as One for our good that astounds me in a way I didn't understand in earlier years.
By the way, I don't think we should shy away from talking about the Trinity with our kids just because it's hard to grasp. The element of faith has to come in (a God-given element). Rather than delve into complicated analogies, I like to explain the doctrine of the trinity in simple terms ("God is One God in three persons. He's not three gods, but three persons, each with a different job or role, but all one or unified. God in three Persons is how He has always existed."). Then I like to point out any time we see the "persons" of God in Scripture working together. I even make a little trinity mark (like a triangle) next to any such reference in my Bible. We use the Good News Story cards from my Etsy shop for Bible memory and many of those verses show the persons of the Trinity at work (such as John 1:1,3-4; John 1:14; John 14:6; John 14:26; Matthew 28:19-20).
I'll post some photos on my Instagram account of our boxes in action after my kiddos do theirs in the next week or so! I printed mine on white cardstock. The box folds together simply and only requires a few pieces of tape (or can be glued together).
You can download the black and white box template HERE.
You can download the full-color box template HERE. (usage below*)
One last thing!
I feel like it's so hard to get to know someone over the internet, so I decided to make a completely awkward and unedited video just for you to close out my blogging year. (By the way, I do wear make-up and wash my hair occasionally, but today wasn't one of the days). So, just pretend you're sitting cross-legged on the carpet with me in my living room while the baby blasts his toy truck, and we'll chat over a cup of coffee . . .
Oh, and happy thanksgiving too! I'm thankful for you.
*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! All artwork and photos are ã Marydean Draws. Please share freely by posting a link back to this blog post. Please don't repost the actual file. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy, please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!