As our family settles down from the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, we are very much at peace.
At the same time, I have a friend who is going through a difficult time with their child, and so their family is not quite able to enjoy the season the way that we can.
Their teen is incredibly unhappy right now and seems lost and confused. While it's somewhat common for teenagers to feel this way during their middle school years, this case is a tad more severe than the usual.
While some kids cope with their struggles by talking to their friends and family, others internalize their feelings and move on. In this case, the teen decided to do something else...and the outcome could have been grave.
My family likes this girl and is very sad for her so I wanted to reach out and do something to help her feel a bit better. Being that it's Christmas, we could have bought her some gifts, like a stuffed animal, some candy or a game or we might have purchased her a music CD, video game or some clothes ( because kids like those things).
Instead, we decided to give her the gift of kind words and prayer.
The kids created special handmade cards, each with pictures and a personal note or bible verse. I wrote an inspiring note also, and sent along a prayer book for her and her parents to read together, and we made her a fun journal with a daily appreciation activity for her to try.
Each card had a bit of Christmas air, said something completely different, but seemed focused on the same thing...love, compassion and support. I was proud and surprised at the amount of understanding that my children expressed.
Here is what my seven year old son's card said:
"We hope you feel better soon. Please don't be sad for Christmas that would be bad. You are Beautiful. We love you."
Skipping the store bought gift and allowing kids to create a gift with their hands can teach a great lesson in 'giving' from the heart.
This type of gift can sometimes be enough to say, 'I love you' and 'You are special'.
We hope that this is the case.
Our Family Wishes You, and Yours, a Very Merry Christmas
Filled with Love, Peace and Happiness.