Monday, December 15, 2008
Gift giving and receiving
I love giving gifts at Christmas time. This year I had good intentions of making jam and apple butter and sending it to everyone, but I can't even get my laundry folded and put away. Maybe in a couple of years when my helpers are a little older. I think I chose this topic today because in the past I have felt bad for receiving gifts that I thought were too expensive or when someone had put a lot of thought into my gift. I've also felt bad for buying my kids presents, which is only rooted from what others think about children and how many gifts they think are appropriate. Now looking back, I see how silly that is. I think we need to be good gift receivers as well as good gift givers. When I give others gifts, my children and family members included, it comes from my heart, not from a need to follow the commercialism of Christmas or to receive thanks in return. It's called freely giving. I don't think withholding gifts from kids teaches them anything about the true meaning of Christmas. Kids learn how to freely give from us. And being a scrooge just to prove a point, doesn't teach them anything. And as for how many gifts are appropriate for children, well, I think that's up to the parents to decide. Every family is different, and which ever way your family chooses to give, it's the correct way. Whether you give throughout the year or Christmas is the big gift giving time, that's ok. In our family, our kids don't get a whole lot of new toys during the year, because we choose to give at Christmas time. If your family chooses to not give gifts at all that's ok too. If your family believes Santa takes away from the true meaning of Christmas then that's ok too. But it's also ok to put up Santa next to the nativity scene. (A little bit off the subject, but my brain works in mysterious ways.) There is definetely a balance of giving and getting. Our kids are too small to be helping at the soup kitchen, but they will be donating some of their used toys to the Goodwill and donating some new toys to the local toy drive. This time of year is a good start for kids to learn about freely giving and getting, so when God has an awesome gift for them someday, they will be more likely to FREELY receive that gift. God's love is freely given, a hard thing to understand in our human ran world.