Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Post-Christmas Post

Hi all,

I've lost my camera cord and can't download all of my great Christmas (and snow) pictures! Ugh! Hopefully I can find an extra one around here somewhere. Then I can post about how great our Christmas was, in a material sense. We got so many gifts. My kids were so spoiled by grandmas, grandpas, and parents. It's really made me think.

I have several friends who have established traditions in their homes that take the focus away from "getting" and make the focus Christ and "giving." Of course we talk about Christ and about why we have Christmas. We don't really "do" Santa Claus (although my mom does at her house for the kids). I collect Nativity scenes and actually only have one Santa thing in the house (a santa kneeling to pray before Christ). But really, my kids are not where I want them to be.

Taevy is a great daughter and a very caring person. She thinks of others and does things on her own for the less fortunate. But this Christmas I was so disappointed. She was all about herself and HER gifts. She didn't want to wait for others to open their gifts before getting another one of her own. And she was disappointed in several of her gifts (even though the items were on her list!). It was very humbling for me as her mom--to see what the materialism of the holiday did to my usually very giving daughter.

I was reading a blog today where the family said they didn't "do" wish lists because it emphasized "me" instead of "others." What a novel idea (to me). My mom is HUGE on Christmas lists and wants them before Thanksgiving. But it's true. It puts the focus on self instead of others. The list is so huge to my mom that I'm not sure we will do away with it all together, but I think that next year I might come up with ideas on my own--without the children having input--so that at least they aren't taking part in the "I want" tradition.

Eric got a great bonus from his work this year--the first bonus he's ever received from any job (other than a ham). Eric and I went a little crazy and bought our kids more than we usually do. They had 7 gifts each under the tree, plus stockings, plus another gift that Grandma and Grandpa B (who spend Christmas Eve with us) added as a "santa" gift.

I'll be honest. I liked the way the tree was all covered with gifts underneath. It looked pretty and my human self was proud that we were able to get these gifts for our children. We definitely don't spoil them with new things throughout the year so it felt good to be able to spoil them this Christmas. Until Christmas morning when Taevy was intoxicated with materialism...

I went over to the Sibley's blog today and read about their first Christmas in Zambia (as missionaries). She said how excited her kids were about their one Christmas gift--a small jar of Nutella for each of them. THAT is how I want my kids to respond. I want my kids to really appreciate even very small gifts. [google Sizbam to find their blog--can't remember it right now!]

Anyway, I guess I'm just a bit hung over from the GETTING. I don't want it to be my family's focus. I think Eric and I will take it back to basics next year. I'm too materialistic to not do gifts for my children. I know that. But maybe we'll do a big family gift, or just a few gifts for each child? Maybe just one thing they will actually use in their stocking, rather than several things that will just end up on the floor, broken, or causing cavities. Maybe next year I'll be better at this, and my kids will be too.

P.S. This post is melancholy but I'm still going to post lots of pics of the FUN of our holiday once I find my camera cord!!!!


shelley 7:07 PM  

i have followed your blog for a long long time. and this is a great post. it is really big for a person to point out that they are wrong and to put themselves out there to be held more accountable. everything i have read about your children is wonderful-i am sure they will learn even from this! it is amazing how smart kids are!

Sister Haiti 4:09 PM  

Hey Anita - I am trying to find your email and can't find it - can you email me:
I have a question re: ghana adoptions.


Jena 1:00 PM  

Whew- I have so many thoughts on this topic....some of my blog posts lately have addressed it. One of my all time most important things to teach my kiddos is gratefulness. Right now I am totally sucking at it and really need to work harder.....