I just wonder when how much we spent, how many gifts are under the tree and who has the latest gadget, became so important? I never tried to teach my kids that. I thought I avoided this whole dilemma. I guess not. Parents of young kids, I highly recommend that you start to think now about what you want the month of December aka Christmas to mean at your house. Whether you believe in God or Christ, or whether you celebrate as it is now the event of the year, tell me why do we put our selves in such distress? It only gets harder as they grow older.
I can honestly say I want to give my kids everything... BUT... whether it is a year where I have the money or a lean year when I don't, I don't think WHAT is given should determine how loved my child is. Apparently I am mean, withholding, selfish, I don't care, poor, etc... I don't think so. I hate that those thoughts happen, I am sorry that it comes across that way, but that is NOT it....
I think that it should be ok to give what is needed, some of the wanted items, but that we should not all be in such a competition. It worries me that people go into debt for Christmas when it seems to me that a month later kids NEED something else...and parents are still trying to recover from 'the season'. Want versus need. Nope this is not a popular thought. Nope I don't expect good feedback. I do just want you to think about the following things:
1) If you give your child everything they want, what will they still have to work towards?
2) If you give as much as you can and go into debt, will that hurt your family later in the year?
3) If you give everything, the latest, most expensive, labels, etc... What happens if in the future if you can't? Does that mean you no longer love your child? Does it mean that you don't care? Or did you teach them the wrong value?
4) Does your child having every wish and want fulfilled have an impact on others? Is your child able to return to school and brag excitedly about Christmas and not hurt someone who got less? Who got nothing? Who lost someone? Who is alone?
I am rambling. I am frustrated. I will never let my kids go without. I will always do my best to provide for them. Give them love - without a doubt. Give them a warm home - absolutely. Fill their bellies with all the sights, sounds and smells that create lasting memories - YOU BET! Give them their want list - no. Some items, hopefully, all - never.
Love is not measured in what you give but how you give it.
Have you ever gone hungry so your child could eat?
Have you ever gone without clothes, haircut, etc. so you could provide for your child?
Have you ever given up something you wanted to do so your child could do something important to them?
These are things that measure true love. You don't have to be poor to give up something to provide for your child.
We do however, I believe, need to give up the concept of 'stuff' to show that we are meeting their 'needs'.
If you want your child to remember something, don't think that a present will provide it. They will remember how you held them, the way you tucked them in at night, the good memories that you created for them. They will remember baking cookies, giving to others and feeling special. They will forget disappointment at not getting an item they 'had to have'. They will remember they could count on you to teach them right from wrong.
I guess today I am feeling let down in this way. I am excited for Christmas. I want the smells, warmth, decor and love to permeate my home. I want to give too my children. I don't want to feel that I have let them down by not providing gifts, gifts, gifts.... Even though my husband thinks I still over do it, I do it because I want to. Even though I have threatened again this morning not to give all the gifts, the kids know I am bluffing.
I guess it is a hard time of year for everyone. As fun as it is. There is so much to fit in. School events. Last minute shopping. Families get together (not for us this year!) and anticipation! I know my girls are not trying to drive me crazy, even though they are!