When I was younger, I remember staying up on Christmas Eve, touching up our Christmas list to Santa, baking cookies for the old man, watching Christmas movies via local channels on the big back TV and my mom prepping Christmas dinner; or what could be prepared the night before to relieve some of her stress on Christmas day. Everything felt so warm. Our family was home, the Christmas tree lights flashed different colors over the disarranged, wrapped gifts under the tree and we all sat there – just so… PRESENT. We would wake up at the crack of dawn waiting to open gifts together. Man times have changed.
These days, Christmas overpowers Thanksgiving in every retail store imaginable with the music, Christmas tree displays and stocking-stuffers. Families are barely finishing Thanksgiving meals before they abandon the dinner table for Black Friday sales that have people tackling each other for TV’s. Toddlers my sons age are being made to believe through the media, classmates and friends that they need things they don’t and I am being made to believe I need to buy them or my kids will go without. Its starting to seem the holiday is more about the “instant gratification” type giving versus “giving to bring joy” kind of giving and trust, there is a difference. I am just absolutely certain I want my kids to know it too.
Now that I am a mom, I have the opportunity to raise children that are humble enough to appreciate all that is given to them and jump at the opportunity to give back; responsible, respectful and giving little humans. I want to aid them into adulthood with the tools to be successful, balanced and have their priorities in order in order to be as happy and grounded as they can be. Remaining humble is a start and holidays like Christmas set the stage for learning experiences. I mean, I don’t even place gifts under the tree until everyone is asleep on Christmas Eve (dont judge me, I am still trying to keep the magic alive)! My son loves gifts (mostly ripping the paper off of them and growling like a lion), but the feeling I get when he comes to grab my hand and says “mommy play” displays what really matters to him. And for now, that is good enough for me.