Simplifying Christmas

An story from Bill, over at “the zen parent,” sums up something that many people do not realize about Christmas…

Too many presents for Santa to Carry…We were giving Christmas presents to my two-year-old niece. On Christmas Day, we presented her with a doll and baby carriage. And she was thrilled. She was all smiles and hugging the doll as if it were the only thing that mattered in the whole world. If that had been the only thing she’d gotten that Christmas, she would have been perfectly content.

But it was just the beginning. Gift after gift was laid at her feet. Tearing through the wrapping paper of each successive present, I could see the joy in her face give way to a kind of numbness. Where the doll and carriage had been special, now nothing was, just a growing pile of things and very little time to feel anything special about any of them.

The image haunts me still…

There are a lot of good parents out there. Most are well meaning when they give their kids a lot of toys for Christmas (or birthdays). But, I think we need to look at the amount of gifts we give our children.

We all want our kids to be happy, but sometimes happiness is not “more.” Sometimes, happiness happens by a trip to the sledding hill, a snow fort, or maybe just a big hug from a parent. Happiness comes from fellowship, not from a pile of toys or other items.

Jessica and I will be getting our daughters Christmas presents this year, but we will try to keep it in perspective. After all, this season is not about how much you can get.  This is a season of friendship, socializing, and most of all, of a chance to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Let’s have a wonderful Christmas season and focus on the things that matter most!

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