My dad showed me a picture of the Christmas where all three of us kids received a bicycle for Christmas. It was the biggest wow of all the Christmases I remember! As we count down to just ten days until Christmas, the pressure to buy that special gift to wow your kids mounts. But do they really need a bigger and better wow every year?
Christmas IS for kids. Iâ€™ve been amazed that the decorating we do has greatly lessened around our house since we are traveling to visit our children and grandchildren rather than having that special Christmas morning experience at our house. Children light up Christmas. I believe thatâ€™s one of the reasons why we work so hard to make sure all the children around us have a great Christmas. But imagine the pressure we put on parents who cannot afford bicycles for every child? Are we just succeeding in making them feel worse because WE think their Christmas should be bigger and better?
As I reflected on our big bicycle Christmas, the reason I donâ€™t remember having that strong feeling every year is because bicycles were way bigger than other Christmases. In other words, if my parents had tried to go bigger and better the next year, the bicycle I received would have lessened in importance. I wonder if it is a worthy goal to try and hit a home run every Christmas? Is it really even possible?
It might be good to ask if we are emphasizing the right value and meaning for Christmas. Are we trying to make all their dreams come true? Will that cost more and more until we choose debt and payments to finance our latest wow? Who says dreams are all about receiving the things we want, anyway? When are we able to teach that some dreams involve giving rather than receiving?
Iâ€™m simply suggesting that we back up and think before we break the budget or go into debt for a single reaction or look on a childâ€™s face this Christmas. Maybe we should be taking them shopping for others and helping them experience the joy of giving as well as the joy of receiving. Maybe we should be planning peak experiences at other times of the year rather than focusing all our resources and expectations on one Christmas morning experience.
No doubt, the meaning of Christmas involves the greatest gift ever received. But that gift brings joy and happiness all through our lives. Itâ€™s not about just one day. Itâ€™s not even just about one gift. Itâ€™s about how one gift can change our lives and bring peace and goodwill toward others. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving.