Rainsing Selfless Children
What is it about kids these days that make people think they are not capable of not being greedy? While I, along with my two siblings, were quite the greedy children my children have surprised me with being the opposite. Yes, they do expect gifts for birthdays and such, only because we have accidentally trained them this way, but when they only get one or two they are forever thankful for it.
Although we don’t participate in the whole Santa thing, we usually overdo Christmas. We set out with a list of what to buy for which child and we end up coming back with much more stuff than we set out for. We buy goofy little toys for the baby too, which he inevitably throws aside so he can play with the boxes they came in. As it always turns out, we end up spending $100 or more for boxes because they toys that came in them were just needless decoration to our youngest. This has been the case with each of our 5 children during their babyhood.
A few months ago my husband and I got this crazy notion in our heads to forgo Christmas gifts this year to focus on Christ and our family or maybe we will find a needy family and focus on serving this year. We talked to the kids about it and let them know what to expect this upcoming holiday season. We told them that we might go rent a cabin somewhere for a couple of days and just hang out together and enjoy each other. Unsure of what response we thought we might receive we were quite surprised when the three oldest were completely in favor of this idea. The two youngest aren’t really old enough to understand any of it but Matthew (3) did get excited along with the others.
Explaining this decision to extended family got us very mixed reactions, none of which were favorable. Many of our relatives actually feel sorry for my kids. They are under the assumption that my older children, ages 6, 8, and 11, can’t understand fully what they are agreeing to and will wake up on Christmas morning to no gifts and feel the truth of what my husband and I did to them.
Is it really that hard to believe that kids can actually not be greedy? Our kids have everything they need plus an endless supply of things they don’t need. We have been blessed abundantly and our kids are some of the happiest children I have ever known. The idea of giving is more exciting to them than getting. I see this as I watch them give away their own stuff to visitors, adults and children. They don’t want anybody to leave our home empty handed. I honestly have no idea where they get this from but I want to keep it growing.
I love to give to my children. I want so badly to be able to run out to the toy stores and buy them every toy they ever wanted. More than that however, I want to give them a gift greater than anything we could ever purchase. I want to give them the gift of a giving heart. I don’t want to overshadow that with needless stuff that will clutter our home, minds, and hearts.
It is true that the less you have the less you want. I could never imagine wanting all the stuff I have now when we were first married. We had to scrounge around in the car for change to buy milk and bread. A couch was a dream of mine. Any decent couch would do, just something to put in my completely empty living room. After many years of marriage, a large wrap around couch, a lounge chair, and a rocking chair my desires changed a bit. A big screen TV was next on our list along with nice speakers, a new computer, and an X-Box. I would never have dreamed of these things during those newlywed years but not long ago they seemed very important all of the sudden. We just weren’t happy with what we had ~ we wanted MORE.
Now, with 5 children and one on the way and a house full of un-needed stuff we have decided that we are absolutely GREEDY! What are we teaching our children? Are we teaching them to be giving instead of greedy? Nope. We are teaching them that a 65″ TV isn’t a bad idea although there are families that could have used that money to keep from having to skip meals.
I am rambling but my point is that kids aren’t going to die because they don’t receive Christmas gifts. The truth is they might learn to live for a more joyous purpose.
Tagged with: about the kids
Filed under: Uncategorized
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!