The kids and I were joking around today as we talked about what simplicity means. We got a little silly and came up with this:
I got food, I got clothing, I'm happy. Anything else is frosting.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. I Timothy 6:8
Here are some links that relate to the topic of Simplicity:
The Story of the Elves and the Shoemaker deals with giving gifts in secret.
He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity. Romans 12:8 (a portion)
We are reading Tessa's Surprises by Louisa May Alcott (she has several excellent short stories that are set at Christmastime), and are going to follow-up with Mama Squirrel's excellent recommendation, Why the Chimes Rang. Both of these stories illustrate an humble gift given from the heart that is honored by heaven, a poignant and familiar theme that is echoed in the words of The Little Drummer Boy, and also in the scriptural instance of the poor widow casting her mite into the treasury:
And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. --Luke 21:1-4
Update: Okay, the Chimes story was actually *just* referenced in the Erma Bombeck essay, not in Mama Squirrels post. Fact is, I am just too busy to blog-- I need to make verifications before I hit post, but I keep posting and running! Gotta stop doing that.
In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti (I found this over at Dominion Family). This beautiful poem realizes our poverty in relation to the Lord:
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.
The Chimes story is referenced in this essay by Erma Bombeck, which is also mentioned by Mama Squirrel in her Advent post. The essay is a reminder to all of us as parents not to despise the day of small things, lest you find one day it is gone, and you miss it.
(The story actually reminds me of my mother, who used to leave one-year-old Triss' handprints on the windows of her house for weeks after we had come across two states for a visit. And when I was going through old photos at her house on Thanksgiving, I came across a whole album of little scribbles and paintings by my then-tiny girls, lovingly placed in page protectors.)