Monday, October 20, 2008

Three was Good Enough for Jesus.

Yes I know that the Wise men didn't show up the day after Jesus was born to shower him with gifts, I know he was closer to two years old by the time they got to him (give the guys a break, they were probably old and it was a really long trip), any way, they brought with them gifts for the Savior. Gold Frankincense and Myrrh. Three gifts...good enough for Jesus, good enough for my kids. Last year after reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and snuggling our little boys into their toddler beds, Todd and I headed down stairs to get Christmas ready, we wrapped gifts, assembled scooters and after hours of hard work and Christmas movies, we stood back and admired our work. It was beautiful, the tree glowed and the shiny paper twinkled in the dimly lit room. And I counted...17 gifts each, and thought to myself "is 17 enough?" it was a wake up call and a shameful moment of parenthood. I had become that parent, the one that materializes Christmas, the most sacred of days, equalled only by Easter, and I had made it into an excuse to give my kids toys. I had used it against them, to gain good behavior and in turn given them gifts...stuff they would never use and hadn't asked for. I was ashamed of myself. So, from this, we have learned and made some decisions regarding Christmas. From now on, each of our children will get three good gifts that they have asked for specifically. We will spend a set dollar amount and will stick to it. Instead of spending the morning opening 17 gifts, we will get up, get down stockings, go through them, have breakfast...each helping to prepare it, open gifts, listen to music and watch a Christmas movie or show and then we will take out time to do a Bible study, say a prayer of thanksgiving and wish Jesus a happy birthday. We will remember and instill the true meaning of Christmas. I'm so excited! This year, instead of buying anything I can think of that they might like, I will put thought into each gift, knowing that I have to make it count, I only have three slots, use them wisely. Now for anyone who thinks this is mean and/or cruel, please know that my children then get cash for their birthday (January 24) quickly followed by a trip to the toy store where they can choose anything we forgot or decided against, they love it and so do we!!