As we gathered around the tree to open presents, I was left with 3 strong thoughts in my head. This is the first year we have commercialized Christmas in our home in many years. If you’ve been around a while or follow me on Social Media, you know I love Jesus and celebrating Christmas for two big reasons- First, for the miraculous birth of Jesus and the humbleness that it brings my heart, and Second for the beautiful twinkling lights all over the place. I love me some glitz.
Each year we explain to our kids how it isn’t about the gifts, and we focus fully on celebrating God and talking scripture. They’ve never begged for a gift or whined about it even once, they’ve just known that’s how we do it.
Personally, I’ve truly hated the way the stores commercialize and capitalize on this holiday.
Then I prayed for a change of heart, because every shopping trip since Halloween has left me bitter. I wanted to enjoy this Christmas the way everyone else seemed to.
So we still talked scripture, we still explained what this day was about, but to be honest, I kind of felt like I was screwing my kids out of the kind of Christmas morning I remember as a kid. I remember waiting for Santa, being fully surprised by my gifts, and playing with whatever I got all year long. There’s just something extra special about the gifts that were opened on Christmas morning versus gifts opened any other time of year.
My top 3 thoughts after opening gifts.
1. Everyone needs a 3 year old in their house on Christmas morning. There were SO many great big bear hugs, so many THANK YOUs shouted, and so much excitement. The gratitude was genuine, folks.
2. 8 year old boys LOVE toys from the dollar store. Although I cringed as a mama because I was buying cheap toys knowing they wouldn’t last long, the excitement as he opened the gifts and the hours of play afterwards made it so worth it. Cheap dress up armor has been his favorite thing for years. He is the son of a warrior after all.
3. Once you have a teen in your house it is totally acceptable to hang prepaid phone cards from the tree as an ornament. It makes for the most practical gift and you can visibly see the burden lifted off their shoulders as they realize it’s another 3 months of cell phone charges they won’t have to pay for themselves. My teen’s second favorite gift may have been cotton candy. Don’t worry, she got many other amazing gifts, she’s just a simple girl like her mama and loves the ‘little things’.
You wouldn’t believe the things I bought in the name of Christmas this year. From homeschooling manipulatives to toys, to electronics, to skateboards, and more, I did alright. This year I didn’t feel like I ripped my kids off, OR Jesus. This year, I feel like I finally found some Christmas-season balance as a Christian wife and mom.
This year, I am grateful for the simple things like always, but now I am even able to be grateful for the big things too. All because I asked God to change my heart, and He did.
Giving materialistic things on Christmas can feel good, even as a Christian. In fact I think especially as a Christian. We are blessed so that we may be a blessing.
I’m beginning to understand a tad of the commercialism (only just a tad though).
I’m praying that you too are finding a balance this Christmas season.
Ps. We didn’t make our traditional sugar cookies for the first time in over 10 years, and I don’t even feel guilty about wiping that off my slate. We all survived just fine! My SIL brought some to Christmas at my father-in-law’s house, so that did help fill the void a little bit.