I meant to ask a couple of days ago and forgot. How was your Christmas? Get any unusual presents?
Mine felt a little strange in a way. Maybe I’m not used to celebrating in Canada, though that seems strange after just two years in Germany. Maybe it was feeling my mother’s absence, this being the first Christmas since her death.
It was so nice to be able to be with family, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and reconnect with some family traditions. The Christmas Eve church service was bittersweet – I was remembering my mother, who usually attended with us, and at the same time enjoying once again the opportunity to worship in English. As I have mentioned occasionally, my German is weak.
Christmas is a time for gift-giving, as we humans emulate God who gave us the gift of his son that first Christmas. In our family we have stopped giving gifts for the most part – there is nothing we need, and it seems silly to spend on something that may not be appreciated. There’s the odd consumable, but nothing big.
Except, this year my daughter gave me a sheep. Well, not just me, it is for both me and my wife.
This could be problematic. Our yard in Ottawa is small, and in Germany we live in an apartment. There is no room for a sheep.
Fortunately, we got a card, but not the actual animal. Turns out we don’t actually get the sheep – that is going to someone who actually needs one.
According to the note from Compassion Canada, The gift of a sheep has been given in your honour. Your gift is providing a family a sustainable source of income for their household through livestock farming. I don’t think I could have asked for a more meaningful gift.
The gift was inspired on part by Handel’s Messiah. It is a Christmastime favorite around our house.
My daughter, in the card she gave us, said that growing up she heard the lyrics “All we like sheep have gone astray” as “We like sheep. Yes we do.” (I know, I need to get her hearing checked.)
I don’t know if we really like sheep in our family, but we do understand the responsibility of giving to others. I am so pleased to know that my daughter understands that and exemplifies that in her own life.
Today is her birthday. I probably don’t tell her often enough how much I love her. I know for sure there isn’t a prouder father in all Canada today.
(By the way, you too can help out a struggling family with a livestock gift. It is too late for Christmas this year, but there are always birthdays or other special occasions. Or just because you want to help someone in need. Our sheep came from Compassion Canada – you can find more information by clicking here.)