Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Family Robinson

I remember reading Swiss Family Robinson to the kids many years ago. It seemed a little dorky how they would say, "oh how I wish we had something like a ladder so we could cross this bridge," and then they would come around the bend and, viola, there's some bamboo poles and a pile of rope. Or they would say, "now all we need is a pulley and some buckets for indoor plumbing," and then they would walk along and find Home Depot. We would laugh about how perfectly timed and placed things were for the Robinson family.

Well, this Christmas I'm feeling like the Robinson family. Christmas has been very different here. We have been more aware of things we don't have here and there are a few things we miss, but everything we've wished for, we've been able to make happen.

1) Millie really wanted a fireplace so we could create a Christmas atmosphere and have a place to hang stockings. She wanted to use boxes and build a mantel. I started thinking about how we could make something sturdy enough to hold stockings. There is a local Facebook page where people give away things they don't need. I haven't been watching it as much lately because we have everything we need. But one day I gave it a look. Wouldn't ya know, someone was giving away rain gutter. And I don't know how, but I just knew I could make a fireplace out of it. And they were willing to cut it for me. It fit together just right.

2) So I cut out some stockings just for looks from red paper. I didn't intend them to hold anything.

But here we are doing things different for a year and cutting back on possessions and even gifts. I wanted my kids to find a way to give to each other in ways other than buying presents. So I asked them to all write on the back of everyone's stocking. So even though the paper stocking doesn't hold anything inside, it can still hold a surprise message that they can open Christmas Day. And they can really keep this because it doesn't take much space. Perfect!

3) There were a few things we have wished for from the US. How lucky we were to have a
friend from church here go on a three week trip to Utah and asked if they could transfer packages to and from family for us. Really? I could send Christmas gifts home and have things come back! I ordered a ton of items from Amazon Prime and had them shipped to my brother's house for her to bring to us. This was nice for some family surprises and to keep some traditions alive here.

4) One of the things I ordered was a set of super strong magnetic clips. I just...thought they would be useful. I didn't realize at the time that they would be JUST the thing to hold up those stockings!

5) AND I did get a few small things for their stockings so the brown paper bags I have in the drawer were the perfect thing to hold those items and it just clips into the same clip for the stocking. How lucky I ordered those clips!

6) I wished for a tree branch to hold sea shell ornaments. There was a branch on a tree in our own yard that really did need trimming. It worked perfectly. Just like I had hoped it would look.

7) I wanted solar powered lights for a fake fire on the beach Christmas Eve, and wouldn't ya know, Target decided to mark down all of their lights 3 days BEFORE Christmas, so I could even get them at a discount!

I LOVE solar powered lights. I can take them anywhere!

8) I needed something to serve as a solid base for my bamboo stakes tree. I was on a run and saw an old broken fan. The front screen was perfect to hold the canes steady.

These things demonstrate some important things to remember. One is that what is important to me is important to God. He will provide a way. And if I keep my eyes open to opportunities that may seem unconventional, impossible things become possible if I take the chance and do my part.

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