How can it already be the holiday season? This year seemed to fly by just like last year! In our home we LOVE the holiday season….. yet now that I have a baby who has a birthday the day after Christmas I don’t mind the holidays holding off just a little while. I don’t want her to be 2 yet 🙂 Not for the reason of “oh no, the trying twos are coming!” because I don’t know that they will be trying at all, but more for the reason of, “Oh no, my baby is turning two! I want her to stay little a while longer!”
As much as I would like the holidays to hold off, I know they are roaring in anyway!
As we prepare for Christmas and think about gifts for our children this year our goal is to have more of a toyless Christmas for them. They will receive a few toys I’m sure, but mainly, we want to go toyless. Why? Well, toys can become all consuming, can’t they? They can quickly pile up and without even realizing it they can take over the kids bedrooms and even the house. More importantly though, we desire to teach our children even more about how Christmas is not about how much we can get.
I’m sure most of us have heard the verse found in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” A great verse indeed, but I love how the book of Proverbs is also filled with so many simple yet at times hard to grasp truths!
Proverbs 16:8 says, “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.” The Bible is not saying we all need to go out and be poor and have nothing, but I think it’s important to remember especially around the holidays when spending can get way out of control, that true wealth and happiness is not wrapped up in material things. We don’t have to prove our love for our children by spending hundreds of dollars on them because let’s face it, most of us do not have hundreds to spend 🙂 My husband and I desire for our children to seek their joy in life in Christ, not in earthly things. As the verse above states, it is better to have a little with righteousness than a lot of earthly possessions without righteousness.
I think sometimes as parents we can breed materialism into our children without realizing it. We teach them without using our words but by our actions that the more we have the higher up in “class” we are and the better we look to those around us. Yet we know that isn’t true. We know in our hearts that wealth does not bring happiness, but our actions are saying the complete opposite.
My husband and I have been trying over the last few years to teach our children that Christmas is not about how much we can get, but how much we can give to others! We are always looking for fresh and creative ideas on how to teach them this. So if you have ideas, please feel free to share them!
Around the holidays we begin coming up with ideas for gifts for those who have had an impact in our lives throughout that year. People such as the children’s Sunday school teachers, our deacons, really, people who have touched our lives in various ways. What better way to get our eyes off of ourselves than to put our energy into seeking to be a blessing to someone else? That is the message we want to send to our kids. So we make our gifts (thank you Pinterest for your mecca of great ideas on adorable gifts!) and then a few days before Christmas we load up in our van, with hot cocoa in hand, and as a family we hand deliver the gifts to the various people’s homes. We take that time to just say “thanks” for making a difference in our life! It’s been a family tradition for 3 years now and the kids have so much fun!! They love to run up to the door with us and drop off the gifts and see the look of delight on the faces of others as they receive their gift.
Acts 20:35, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” That is what we want to teach our children as they grow. Getting gifts is fun but giving gifts is even better!
That is just one of our traditions and attempts to teach our children to not be materialistic, what are some ideas that you have? I’d love to hear them!
As we enter the holiday season I truly hope it is a wonderful time of year for you and yours!