It’s three days before Christmas and I’m still finishing my shopping. Okay, well, to be a bit more honest, I’m really just starting. And this time, it’s not my normal procrastination. Well, maybe a little bit.
As I mentioned last week, I’ve been in a decluttering mode. So I’ve been piling up, donating, upcycling, recycling, throwing out clothes, books, address labels, cooking magazines, t-shirts, toys, old paperwork. It’s a lot of work. You can understand why I don’t want to fill up those almost empty, uncluttered spaces again, can’t you?
Also, my purging has also revealed to me another thing: my kids have a lot of stuff. The amount of laundry that I do a week is a big tell-tale sign of how much clothes they have. And I can hardly think of stuff they “need.” Well, my son does need a new pair of shoes and the girls could use some tights. But that’s about it on the “need” list. “Want?” Eh, there’s a few things but aren’t there always?
So then, I have to wonder, as the good mom I inspire to be: what lesson am I teaching my kids by getting them more stuff they don’t need and hardly even know that they want to celebrate the birth of Jesus? See, that could be confusing, confounding the message of the virgin birth and the greatest gift to the world. How does a new pair of sports socks and a video game cartridge and a(nother) Barbie fit into that?
But then we put up our beautiful tree, with its sparkly lights and ornaments we’ve collected over the years. We sang Christmas songs at church and enjoyed our friends at our cookie exchange party. And I can’t imagine my kids not waking up early early Christmas morning, reading the story of the birth of Jesus, and then not opening anything. Not enjoying the anticipation of something new or the excitement of something picked out just for them.
Perhaps they will translate the message of birth into one of all things new, the promises yet unveiled, and a love unconditional. Perhaps they will be oh so happy for a new case for their phone or a new box of Legos. I guess it’s our job as their parents to make sure that they get the blessing of both.
In the meantime, I’m off to have a chat with Santa.
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