What do you want for Christmas?

Posted by  | Monday, December 20, 2010  at 6:00 AM  
Do you find yourself asking this question? Can I challenge you to stop asking it?

I was talking with a friend last week about Christmas at their home and she shared with me what a tough time she was having with her boys focusing too much on the gift giving aspect of Christmas. She was frustrated that their countdown to Christmas was a countdown to the day they get to open all their gifts. She wondered what she could do about it. I challenged her to think about how she and her husband were presenting Christmas to their boys and if that had anything to do with their materialistic expectations. When I told her that my boys don't know they will be getting any presents for Christmas, she was really surprised.

My boys don't know they are getting anything for Christmas because we just don't talk about it. I have made a conscious decision not to say the following to them: "What do you want for Christmas?" "Maybe you could ask for that for Christmas" These kind of questions/statements imply that Christmas is about what you want or what you're going to get. They set our children up to expect gifts and to associate the day with getting stuff.

Instead, we try to talk about Christmas in term's of Jesus' birthday. My kids' Countdown to Christmas is a countdown to Jesus' birthday. We talk about what kind of cake we will make for Jesus, how we will celebrate the day. They have eached memorized a Bible verse that they will say before singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. These are the expectations I'm trying to build into them as they think about Christmas.

But we will be giving them presents for Christmas. I've heard lots of different ideas of how families do Christmas gifts in their home. I'd love to hear what you do in your home. For us, I have bought stocking stuffers for everyone (Chicago Bears socks, a Lighting McQueen car, and candy). I also bought each boy pajamas, a hat and mitten set, a Kung Zhu hamster, a book, and a board game. Their daddy bought them a Lighting McQueen Cars set. Pretty simple.

So, my challenge to you is to think about how you are presenting Christmas to your little ones. Our words are powerful and can direct our children towards or away from the Cross even when we don't realize it. Begin today to direct your conversations away from "what do you want" and towards "who's day is it?".

3 comments:

Doesn't Matter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randi K. said...

Leah, what a wonderful idea and such a blessing to hear about this while my babies are still babies! Thank you for sharing and for beaing faithful to help other moms to be Godly and to teach their families the same!

Courtney said...

This is the first year we have really had to think about things, my boys are 2 and 1. I love your thoughts on this. I had been surprised all season by the fact that my boys haven't touched the packages under our tree, but now that I read your post it makes sense. They don't know why they are there, we haven't talked about getting gifts or any of that type of stuff. We have talked about Jesus and played with our nativity. We have sung songs and made crafts. We have baked and made goodies to give away. But we haven't talked about Santa or gifts for us. Thanks for helping to realize that all I really need to do is what I have been doing by putting the focus on Jesus and not on stuff

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