Doing Less & More
I’m not actually talking about doing less as much as buying less. In the beginning of the Christmas season again this year, I told myself that we are going to tone it down big time. Our kids have gotten so many presents for so many years now, and I have finally begun to see how excessive it is. Many of the toys they only play with for a short period of time, or they break them in a few days. Because of all of the toys around they don’t respect each one as much as they should. It has become a problem.
So we approached the kids right after Thanksgiving this year with a cute form that asked them to list five things they wanted for Christmas. Surprisingly, our kids went along with this easily and after about four days all three kids had filled out their lists thoughtfully, and they were hanging on the fridge. I have purchased all of the gifts now, and all of their requests that were reasonable are on the way. There were a couple of requests for Lego sets that were just too expensive, so I traded them out for smaller ones. Our kids didn’t ask for I-phones or I-pads because they know that their father and I don’t believe that children their age should be responsible for such fragile and expensive possessions.
So there will not be a long drawn out gift opening session this Christmas morning. New traditions are on the way though. We are going to serve needy families on Christmas morning this year before we open our presents. I’m not fond of getting up early in the morning, but this time I don’t think that I will mind it much. I think that it will really help our entire family to understand just how grateful we should be for everything that we have, and how much more we truly have than just the presents that are under the tree.
We are making an effort to give our children more time this year and fewer things; more of ourselves and less of our money. I remember when we had our foster boys and each of their dads came through with the newest gaming systems for them for Christmas. These men were far from wealthy people. I don’t know how they afforded the things that they bought for their kids. I do remember that they barely saw their boys long enough to drop off the gifts. It broke my heart. I am grateful for that experience, and for other ones that have slowly been nudging me in this direction. We are looking forward to a wonderful holiday this year. There will be lots of friends, and family, and food, and love, and cheer…and less stuff. We are doing less…and more.