Tis the week after Christmas

And Mama sensed danger,

For due to the wrappings

She could not find the manger.


No, Jesus was buried in papers and string,

Taylor Swift’s CD played but no angels did sing.

She saw Santa and Rudolph and Elf on a Shelf …

She eyed Bey Blades and skates and kids’ books about wealth.


There was chocolate and soda (and shhhh… there was wine),

But where was sense of a season divine?

Her children were tired and having dumb spats

And her mate was passed out like an over-fed cat.


She was angry and furious,

“This indulgence must halt!”

But then she remembered …

It was kind of her fault.


After all, she gave advent gifts

For 24 days.

It’s no wonder they entered an

“It’s about Me!” phase.


Despite all the housework,

The plates in the sink,

A thought bubbled forth

And it sure made her think:


“You can’t feed the glutton but forget the soul,

And wonder why Jesus ain’t part of the goal.”

To wake up her kids (and her husband from sleeping)

She must suppress cursing, teeth-gnashing and weeping.


She started with prayer (okay, who was she kidding?

She started with a walk and THEN did God’s bidding).

She said “Please, Lord, I need you, because here are the facts:

I’ve turned your dear children into cry-baby brats!

With your help I can do this … It can’t be too late

To transform their hearts, Lord … please … help turn their fate!”


As some peace settled in (from the walk and the prayer),

She was convicted of truth both inspiring and fair.

She remembered that, yes, our Christ died on a cross,

So her kids could have presents that don’t have cost


And while gifts are so lovely! They’re fabulous to see!

The best gifts don’t come from a spot near the tree.

They come from our heart – and like Jesus who served ─

We need to remember what’s in God’s Word.


We are to serve others – so this New Year’s season

She remembered volunteering was a fabulous reason

To get her kids thinking of others – not them ─

And then a sweet Christmas could begin again.


One full of giving and joy and elation

Like Believe’s campaign here all about Appreciation!

There’s six orgs to choose from so maybe like she,

You’ll ask kids to tithe small bits of allowance – Yipee!


If they aren’t that excited, then you can try one trick

That she did five years ago – it really did stick.

If they fought and were cranky and she’d had plumb enough,

She’d stick them on the stairs where they’d sit on their butts

And hold hands until one could say something real nice

(Once they sat there an hour because of their vice!)


But you know what? It worked. Because it’s a fact

That we are the cause and the end of our “brats.”


Rather than talk and correct and cajole,

Let them take on this burden – have them pay the toll.

While at first they will fight you, eventually they’ll get

That they have to be kind or they will stay upset.


And while starting as rules, here’s the final great tip:

It really will nurture their relationship.

They’ll learn fighting’s okay but more important is love,

(And us parents could learn from this small tip from above!)


So to end this long poem

Remember Operation Appreciation.

Volunteering sure beats a kid’s one-way vacation.


To a faraway land where Mama gets time

Away from incessant cries, shrieks, screams and whines.


Just remember, Moms and Dads,

You’re doing just fine …

God has a plan – and his plan is divine

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Hebrews 6:10

Organizations highlighted in Operation Appreciation include:

1. Hope International

2. Wheels for the World

3. Salvation Army           

4. The Seed Company   

5. Living Water International 

6. World Vision                                

Got any comments about what you do for your kids to get them to be more appreciative?

Any of you have organizations you contribute to and love?

What do you think about our featured organizations? We would love to hear! When Andrea isn’t making her kids sit on the stairs and shoot her amazing smiles of sibling understanding (can you feel the love in that photo?) she’ll respond back via the comment section!

Andrea’s Blog Look for more of Andrea’s posts on her blog which publishes Monday, Wednesday and Fridays!

* Note: The above link will bring you to the parenting section of Believe.com. Her blog is located on the right side-bar!

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