SO, do you encourage your kiddos to list out all the things they are longing for on Christmas day? I ask because this time of year it about drive me crazy when you are in line at __________ (fill in the blank) with your kids and the sweet elderly man/woman near you asks the kids if they made out their list yet? Have they been good? Are they expecting great things from Santa?
I love that they engage my kids. I love that they are friendly. But please, we battle selfishness daily in my home. I deal with it, and I see it in my kids every time I turn around. They will spend 2 hours at the food pantry giving food to people who have no money to buy food, and come home and complain about what I serve them.
My boys worship catalogs. Thankfully, not bad ones, but really? You have more things to play with than you have time to play with them and you think you need more. You, my sweet children, have bought the lie that more stuff, different stuff will make you happy.
So, we, here in my home, we abstain from lists. I do not even ask them what they want. Because , honestly I know my kids. I know what they need, what they will delight in long past Christmas morning. I know the gifts that have mattered through the years.
And we love to limit our presents. I love it. Otherwise I would keep going and going and going – adding more and more. And honestly less is so much better!! More can be overwhelming!!
So this year we are gifting these things to our kids:
1. Cowboy boots – my kids LIVE in these about 10 months out of the year, I think they sleep in them sometimes. So new boots.
2. A book – this year they are all getting a Dangerous Book for Boys/Girls
3. Bedding – the younger two are getting bunk beds, new paint and a “new” room – as roommates! The older 2 are getting new comforters.
4. MP3 players. Yes, we are adding an item this year, I think since the first three are mostly needs/practical. I decided that for them to each have an MP3 player would bless all of us.
So this seems like no fun, but you know what? These boys and my girl will spend hours and hours and more hours pouring over those books!! They can swap, share and enjoy over and over. I cannot wait to see them all delight in these books!
And yes, again this year we will run the Christmas Store. But this year I may do it a bit different and let each child get one gift from their sibling. I am not sure yet. But getting something substantial may be better than 3 nothing-ish gifts. Have to think on this some more.
So while we avoid lists, we will have lots of fun treats under the tree and lots of fun on Christmas morning. My main issue with the list thing? Well, I did the list thing and I think I expected to get what I put on there. It was not really a dream list, but a list of expectations. And I do not want my kids to expect. Today when asked what I want I may offer a few suggestions, but I know that the giver has the option to ignore any requests I present. (not my husband, of course!)
So that is how we do things – how about you? Do you do a list? How do you reign in that “I want, I want” – going on in your kids?
No matter what, I want the focus of this season and the day of Christmas to be about Jesus – and that is not felt by getting everything you wanted. Instead, it is about being reminded of the ultimate gift we were given – the gift of Salvation!