"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Sunday, December 5, 2010

All ACES This Christmas

Gratitude: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: He expressed his gratitude to everyone on the staff.

Home sweet home...

As I was driving this past week I heard someone speaking on the radio about the importance of being grateful this Holiday Season. She was specifically opining about how we should cultivate a spirit of gratitude in our home with our children. 

In the holiday rush of planning, shopping, wrapping and preparing it is easy to lose track of the significance of Christmas and the grand opportunity we have to instill a spirit of giving and appreciation with our little ones during this time of year. No matter the age of our children the importance of giving over receiving is vital. Acts 20:35 states; "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

That pearl of wisdom is so hard for all of us to learn and incorporate into our lives. We would all do well to remind ourselves that we can't start early enough when it comes to teaching, and displaying, the act of giving to our children. It is one of the most important responsibilities we have as parents.

Having children is great; our responsibility to educate them is even greater.

I don't think anyone would disagree that our children are our greatest gifts. And while the focus of this piece is on gifts let me share four basic tenants we can teach our children as they open the many, often too many, gifts that they will be receiving this Christmas.

...Great Expectations.

The acronym is ACES and it goes like this:

The A stands for ACCEPTANCE.

During this Holiday Season one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is the one that gives them the proper guidance concerning accepting gifts with graciousness and true heartfelt thankfulness. Telling the other party 'Thank You' is just the beginning. When we display heartfelt approval we give the giver of the gift a wonderful gift in return.

The C stands for COMMUNICATION.

Once we make known our thankfulness for such a wonderful kind gift, no matter the gift, it is important to let our children know how important it is to communicate our approval. One of the best ways to communicate approval is remarking on the small details of the gift. By doing this we show the other person we really do appreciate them being so kind and thoughtful with choosing this particular gift. 

The E stands for EYE contact.

Nothing says 'Thank You' with more sincerity than looking another person in the eye when you share with them your thankfulness, gratitude and appreciation.

The S stands for "SET aside".

Don't throw it, don't chuck it and don't rush onto the next gift. Take time to appreciate the gift and then thoughtfully, and politely, set it aside while giving another family member the adequate time to experience their gift. The key here is to slow down.

Be a gift to someone this Christmas.
Now I know what everyone is thinking, "very hokey, no chance... I have 3 under ten and there is no way they are going to listen to me on Christmas morning." My reply is that this piece was for us, the adults, not the kids.

My mother has always told me to model the behavior I want to see in others. Let your kids see how thankful you are for each gift you receive this Christmas. Mothers let your children see you look into your loved ones eyes while saying a sweet and soft thank you. Fathers, hold your wives and tell her thank you for the greatest gift she could give you and the family; the gift of herself. Mothers make it happen in every home, every day. 

Nothing like a mother's love...

That is a fact that can't be argued or debated.

So during this Christmas when the gifts are properly, and beautifully, displayed under the tree ask each person to settle their hearts and reflect upon how fortunate, and blessed, we all are. Take a moment and bow your heads and hold each others hands and pray a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude.

In our house, and in the home I grew up in, we believe that Christmas is about the King. Isaiah 7:14 states, "The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel - God is with us". Isaiah also goes onto say in chapter 9, verse 6, that "A child is born to us; a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal of titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Simply put, that is what we believe in the Bailey household. It has been quit a journey to get to the point that I realize I can't live without acknowledging that very fact. I'm so glad I will be able to look all my children in their eyes this Christmas with them having no doubt where their father stands concerning his faith.


Some day they will have to decide if they want to make the same decision. I hope they do.

Finally, it is my hope that during this holiday season that those reading this will accept the many gifts you receive with gratitude, give the many gifts you will give with love and that all of us will be mindful of the greatest gift ever given to us; the gift of love, forgiveness and eternal salvation. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts and to all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Merry Christmas!

sbb  5.12.10


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post. I too heard just a bit of this on the radio and was looking for info on it. Thanks again for your post.
kathy (ohio)

Erica said...

Beautifully written, something we should all think about.