Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tis The Season

I've been thinking a lot about this lately and I've shared it on my Facebook but thought I'd make a post about it here also. It especially started after I had spent 6 hours organizing our basement and the loads of "stuff" that I dropped off at Goodwill. Though some of it was clothes that the girls had grown out of (there got to be too many that I didn't have the gumption to sell them on eBay), most of it was toys they had received over the years and no longer play with. Material things. We have been blessed with so much. And unfortunately this can be passed down to our children. Not our children per se, but between parents and children in general. One of my ideas for Family Home Evening in December is to go volunteer at Harvesters or a soup kitchen so that my children realize how good they have it and not everyone is as fortunate. I have never felt that we spoiled our girls: I say "no" quite a bit. They see something they want, they know they have their allowance to save for it. I came across an article by Joe J Christensen who was a member of the Presidency of the Seventies in 1999. He said "instant gratification generally makes for weak people. As a consequence of overindulgence, many children leave homes ill-prepared to meet the real world. All too many enter marriage who have never learned to cook, sew, or develop other important life skills. We would do well if in all these areas of material things we and our children would follow the oft-quoted motto of our pioneer forebears to "fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Children who always get what they want, will want as long as they live. I was also reading an article in the KC Parent magazine from a mother whose children get 4 gifts at Christmas: "Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read." I LOVE that. Children these days grow up believing they are "entitled" to everything. How can we reverse that thinking? I had a friend post on my FB comment of the 3 gifts her children get at Christmas in relation to the "three wisemen". One gift remains unwrapped from "Santa" and the other two from mom/dad. What a great idea! No more of this thing after thing after thing. I so cherish the gift my husband gives me to be a stay home mom. This gives me the chance to watch my children grow, nurture them, participate in school activities, take them to the park, play with them, have them read to me or I to them, just "be there" for them. Our men had a priesthood meeting last Sunday where one of the stake presidency remembered being able to go home everyday during high school at lunch to eat with his mother. His mother was a homemaker and he loved being able to go home and she'd be there at lunch. What a memory. In this day of expendable incomes, electronics, video games, and texting we need to get back to the basics. Our children are not going to remember what they got for their 6th birthday or many Christmases ago. The time we spend with them, the love we give them, and the attention we give them are going to go a lot farther than "buying" love with material possessions.


Sants said...

Well said my friend!

We do the three gifts too - why should Santa get the credit???

My friend who does the three gifts takes it a step farther - something spiritual, some physical, and something lavish ... she uses a better word but she ties it in with Frankincense, gold and myrrh.

I think THREE is plenty - especially when we factor in that we have six kids who give to each other and two sets of grandparents who give the kids each a gift. We have LOADS on Christmas - sometimes just toe socks (a perennial favorite for my girls) but still ... lots and lots and lots.

Sants said...
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JONES GANG!!! said...

Great idea Ann. its so good to hear that and hopefully our children and there children will be wise and keep the tradition going. You should probably publish that in every thing that people read. sure do miss ya.


Awesome post. I totally agree. We are having a simple Christmas. I feel we do enough and get enough during the whole year that we don't need to do so much just because it's Christmas. We need to be able enjoy what Christmas if really about without all the stuff!!

Elisha Jones said...

Beautiful message and so true!

Shannon said...

This should be in a book Ann! I couldn't agree more.

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