Christmas brings along with it the hustle and bustle of the season. Honestly, this year I wanted less hustle and more Jesus. I love decorating so we did that a few days after Thanksgiving. Growing up as an immigrant family, we didn’t grow up with a lot of material possessions. For the first few years of life in America, my parents worked almost 80 hours a week just to survive and save so that my dad could open his business. My mom still shares vivid stories about this time and it always conjures a lot of emotions. She still holds onto some of that sadness because she missed some of our childhood as my grandmother cared for us while they worked so much. I honestly don’t remember that much because I was still pretty young. When my first born, Jules started kindergarten a few years back, my mom cried as she recalled how sad she was when I started kindergarten without knowing any English. She worried how much I would struggle just to follow along. I don’t recall much of that either. I do remember not knowing any English except the phrase, “I don’t know.” Anytime someone asked me a question like my name, I would just answer, “I don’t know!” I remember the responses from others were of confusion and laughter but it’s amazing how quickly children can adapt and learn a new language.
Since we didn’t own many possessions, I recall one Christmas when my parents bought my sister and me a Gund stuff animal. It was my most precious possession and I loved it dearly. I remember keeping for years until it was old and super raggedy. I think about my kids and how blessed they are and how my parents sacrificed so that the generations after them could live with plenty. When I share these thoughts with my other Korean American friends, we all agree that this is something we struggle with as parents because we want to instill in them an attitude of gratitude.However, it’s challenging when we want to either give them what we didn’t have or when they don’t visibly experience what it is to need.
So how do we instill this in our children? I think it’s by putting Jesus on the fore front of our minds. Do I do this? No! I definitely need more help and grace in this area and thank the Lord that he fills the gaps where Jimmy and I fall short as parents. We have been reciting the story of Christ and his birth and how he entered the world in the most humble way. Our God, Lord of everything, King of Kings was born in the midst of farm animals! Talk about stankity stank stank stank! We have been doing a simple advent calender by teaching the kids the different names for God. Each name of God reflects another aspect of his character and who he is. We can know him more intimately by learning these qualities about his character. I think it is a simple and beautiful way for them to absorb these truths.
The kids with their Christmas Operation child boxes.
Will our children receive gifts? Yes, but hopefully we’ll be able to instill in them the most important reason why we are celebrating this special day and season. It is always a magical morning waking up to gifts galore but reminding ourselves that Christ came to this earth in human flesh so that we could have redemption through him? Now, that is a gift far beyond compare. Thank you, Jesus!!
And now, I leave you with this awesome, stylish picture of the Min family. Hope you all have a
tacky Merry Christmas with your loved ones!
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.