I overheard this conversation, not long ago, in a gathering of little girls.

I want an iPhone for Christmas!” cried one ten-year-old.

Another exclaimed, “Me, I want a Tablet!”

Oh, I want an iPad!” squealed the excited nine-year-old girl. 

Just as thrilled, the last child of the bunch shouted,

“I WANT BOOKS!” . . .

Silence . . .

The astonished girls stared at their book loving friend. Their blank looks seem to indicate they needed more time to register the thought ‘what exactly is a book.’

Finally, one brave “spokes-girl” from the group asked the inevitable, “Why? . . . Why do you want books?”

The love of reading is often a homeschooler’s hallmark. We, like many of you, have invested seemingly endless homeschooling hours snuggled together with our children on the couch reading stories. I loved this bonding time, as well as the literary discussions that naturally flowed from our shared time. As a result, and just like this little girl, our children acquired a thirst for books, all kinds of books, especially those with fascinating tales. A love of reading is a magnificent gift to give. Of course this gift can’t be wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. In fact, the most valuable gifts can’t be packaged.

Likewise, the amazing gift of homeschooling can’t be packaged, or presented to be unwrapped on Christmas Day. Or on any one particular day. It must be unwrapped over numerous months and years. As we homeschool, and are with our children for large chunks of time, we are given a window of opportunity in which we can give them rare and priceless gifts. One of my favorite intangible gifts, which I’m hoping to give my children, is the legacy of living a grateful life before their very eyes. Mostly, I want to give my children an example of a life lived for Jesus, honestly and transparently before them. Although, I will never be perfect because only Jesus is, I can, however, show them how to live out their own relationship with our living God.  

This homeschooling journey allows us to daily give our children an example of a Christian life fleshed out before them. Not perfectly but transparently.

Will you join me in this matchless intangible gift giving? It will benefit not only your family, but immeasurably more people than you may dare to think.

Giving these gifts isn’t as simple as a purchase and presentation to our children under the Christmas tree. No, that’s why they’re rare and priceless. They require our heart and soul. In the daily nitty gritty of homeschooling we can lose sight of our higher purposes, and at times we grow weary. 

“. . . the Creator of the ends of the earth . . . will not grow tired or weary, . . . He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40: 28-29 NIV

I’m so grateful, however, that God never grows weary or even tired. As we trust in Him, and wait, He renews our strength to follow His “holy calling”. I’m also grateful that when we do grow weary or tired we have each other to support and encourage as fellow homeschoolers

Certainly, as homeschoolers, we do like to give tangible gifts to our children at Christmas. If possible, one of these gifts may include some longed for, above and beyond the ordinary, yet educational gift. A gift that nurtures their God given bent. I have a homeschool friend who hopes to give her daughter such a gift this Christmas, but she needs our encouragement and help.

Here is her heartfelt story.

I’ve always said that Nicole was born for the stage – God just put that inside her. This has been her dream, since a very young age – all she used to do was play dress up with her brothers, forcing them to play Joseph and Jesus and she was, of course, Mary. We had many plays in the back yard, and singing, dancing, and dress up became the order of the day for a very long time in our home.”

Nicole on audition day at Sight and Sound

“Nicole’s desire has always been to attend a professional Performing Arts school, to learn and experience, and then to teach and train others and use her gifts and talents in the church at large. At one point she was determined to go to Hollywood and signed up for a famous academy in New York. She quickly realized the values of Hollywood and knew she couldn’t support that. Soon after, she came across Sight and Sound’s ministry and found out that they have a professional Performing Arts Conservatory. She applied, worked very hard to audition and was accepted! Later, we found out that this is quite an honor – only 10 are accepted into the program from all those who apply from around the world. Nicole is so very excited to attend in January, but even after having worked hard all year and is currently working 5 jobs, she is still going to be short $2,500 tuition money that is due Jan. 1st and may not be able to attend. She sees her dream slipping away . . . Our hope is that we’ll be able to present her with a check on Christmas morning that will be enough to cover the tuition cost.”

You can join me in this tangible encouragement and gift giving for Nicole.

  • Purchase sets of Joyfully Yours homeschool encouragement cards http://joythacker.com/store-3/  by December 22  and 10 % of the profit will go to Nicole.

  • Give the set as unique Christmas gifts.

  • Or tuck them into a gift you’re giving to your homeschooling friends along with words of appreciation, thanks, or encouragement.