Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gift Giving for the Holidays

Our family has begun a new tradition when it comes to holidays.  For the last few years we just walked the road that seemed set for us.  Accepting all the gifts showered upon us and our children, wading through the wrapping paper and dealing with lost perspective and selfish attitudes in the post-holiday wake.

Last Christmas in particular became a real eye opener for us when, for 3 days following, my son refused to eat and kept asking for candy.  3 days!  I was really getting worried, and my husband assured me that my son would eat when he was hungry.

We discussed what we wanted for our children and for our holidays.  We wanted the holidays to be a joyful celebration, not a case of overwhelming sate.  And we wanted our entire lives, especially during the Christian holidays, to focus more on Christ and service.

So, much to the angst of some family members (whom I pray will understand and celebrate with us anyways), we have decided on purchasing one and only one gift for our children on these occasions, and focusing on the celebration that we are here and together and that the Lord has blessed us and will continue to do so.

How does this play out?

Soon after we made these decisions, we celebrated my little man's 4th birthday. We planned on meeting at the park, with all his friends (ie. the Huff tribe, lol) and letting them play for hours and enjoy fried chicken and cake. We did not open any presents there.

Why flaunt in front of other people what we have? Why invite people just to have them buy you presents? Why not just hang out with your friends and your family and have a great time! Why not run and laugh and play! We did and it was WONDERFUL!

How many times I have seen my son open a present bought with love and care, only to see him be uninterested, forced to say thank you, and the item thoughtlessly buried under many other purchases, forgotten?

This is not a reflection on the gifts or the gift givers!! This is a reflection of each of our hearts, our own selfish natures, crying "Want! WANT! WANT!" Time and time again it is proven that the more you have, the less it thrills you. And even worse, the more you have, the more you want.

It is not that I want my children grown in poverty. But what a sad thing it is to have a home full of toys, and have poverty of the spirit! On any given day you can walk in my home and find Legos all over the living room floor, children's books scattered around the bookshelves and end tables, a baby doll by the bed, and a much loved Bender doll sitting in the corner overseeing the mess. What do my children need, that time and love cannot provide? It is most certainly not 'things.'

So... with the understanding that some will disagree, we have chosen this path for our family. If you join in our celebrations, please respect our wishes and work within them. There are 365 days a year to show our children that you love them. And no matter how many toys you give them, it will not make up for a trip to the park, sitting down at dinner, and reading a bedtime story. I know you can't be there everyday. But you are welcome in our home anytime you can do so.

And we will be keeping a fund specifically for our homeschool supplies, which any would be welcome to donate towards.

Thank you and God Bless you this Thanksgiving and Christmas Season!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post Caroline, It is full of truth, wisdom, and love. I agree with you.
    Your kids are loved by a mother who is concerned for their spirtual and emotional well being, they are blessed.