Things have been a little crazy with Christmas heading at us at top speed, so many birthdays around this time of year, and our upcoming baby girl…my head has been spinning and I am feeling overwhelmed. I’ve gotten extremely caught up in the idea of giving the kids a “good” Christmas, so much so that suddenly I’m wondering if I am defining a “good” Christmas the right way.
For those of you that know me, you know we don’t do Santa, and my favorite tradition is reading about the arrival of Jesus on Christmas morning. I’ve always swung toward the religious side with my Christmas traditions, and have even sometimes been mercilessly picked on for it…but that never bothered me.
This Christmas is a little different than some of our other Christmas’ and as the holiday approaches and we are struggling to give the kids a good Christmas, I think I missed something. Sure, I tried to leave the commercial idea of Santa out. I talk with the boys about what St. Nick did many years ago, and that he wanted Jesus to get the credit. And we read the bible on Christmas morning. But even in all of that, I feel like there is a quota I must meet in gift-giving to fulfill what Christmas should be.
And I’m even struggling with the idea that the kids won’t understand receiving less…but is that true? Am I teaching them the right or wrong lessons? Am I teaching them a sense of entitlement? That no matter the cost to the people around them, they should get and have what they want? How do I teach them to be grateful for a little and not bitter because their friends got more? Or because they got more during a different holiday season?
My prayer is that God would speak to me about these lessons and how to teach them…that He would soften the hearts of my children to learn these lessons gracefully. I pray now that God would reveal to me what my actions teach my kids, not just this season, but always. I pray that instead of teaching the boys that the world owes them, that I owe them, that I would teach them to be thankful always, in times of plenty and times of want. I pray that they would be dedicated individuals with a desire to work hard. I pray that they would value stuff the right way, and not put stuff above family, or other people. I pray earnestly for the peace and strength to walk through these lessons, and the focus to keep my eyes on Jesus and all that I have to be thankful for, too.