I pray that you all had a very Merry CHRISTmas! Our morning was great. We had blueberry and triple berry muffins, bacon, juice and milk. We listened to Christmas music of all sorts and they got the biggest kick out of the Jackson 5 singing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". We brushed our teeth and settled down to read the CHRISTmas story in Luke 2 and talk about the GREATEST GIFT OF ALL - JESUS CHRIST! We shared our thoughts and feelings about this season and the reason we celebrate it and then the mayhem began.
They opened their stockings from us and big brother and then we moved to the living room where the tree and their other gifts awaited them and dug in. Paper was flying everywhere, there were squeals of delight, groans at the gag gifts and lots of love and joy flowing around the room as CHRISTmas carols played in the background. All too soon the gifts were all unwrapped and the mood was somber. Is this all???
My heart stopped for a moment at those words and I gathered them around to pick up the wrapping paper, etc. and talked to them once again about it not being about presents and gifts but about Jesus Christ. They nodded and wandered off to start opening everything and the day ensued with a lot of - Can I open this? Can you help me open that? as I cooked our CHRISTmas dinner. The aroma of the ham, yams and turkey cooking filled the air and lots of thoughts filled my mind.
I decided that we have had enough of the commercialism of CHRISTmas in our lives and that next year will be much different. I know they are relatively young but this is the best time to start. We have already reached the point where they don't believe in Santa Claus as a real live person, rather he is a symbol of the "spirit of giving". So I've decided to take some very wise advise and limit the number of gifts we give our children to three apiece much like the offering of the three wise men. Don't applaud me for this great undertaking because it is not an original thought, it came from Sheila Wray Gregoire, Canadian columnist, author, speaker, and mom.
"... several years ago we started a new gift giving tradition with my children. We call it the “Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh” ritual, where they each get three gifts, and nothing more. The gold gift is something they want. The frankincense gift is something they need, like socks. And the myrrh gift is something to nurture their souls. It could be a journal, or a book, or a CD, or a movie. It’s something that reminds them of their purpose here on earth, or encourages them to think, to write, and to pray about what’s important."
This way I know that all the joy, fun and celebrating will focus mainly around CHRIST and not the gifts. It will also add joy back into our lives as we won't feel the pressure to buy, buy and buy gifts that will lose their luster within 48 hours of opening them and the headache of paying for them into the new year. Although we did the Angel tree this year and sponsored a boy and a girl I didn't let them in on the process but next year we will let them pick out the gifts for the children we choose to sponsor so they can start to feel the joy that comes from buying for others - giving not just receiving.
How was your CHRISTmas?