First, I just want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and I pray that God has blessed each of you and your families today.
I know a lot of us are on social media and we are being bombarded with the pictures of the beautifully decorated trees that are surrounded by heaps and heaps of beautifully wrapped gifts waiting to be opened. You may be feeling defeated or maybe guilty because you feel as though didn’t buy enough or that you didn’t find that ‘perfect gift’. I want to let you know that it’s not the amount of gifts or the amount of money spent on gifts that is important but rather the amount of love that was put into making your Christmas special.
Don’t beat yourself up or feel upset, don’t let that monster called jealousy creep into your heart today. Remember that the best Christmas present ever given was given a long time ago in a manger, in Bethlehem. Jesus is truly the reason for the season.
You know this year in our house we tried to focus more on the fact that Jesus is indeed the reason for the season. We did an Advent study which has been so much fun. This helped to bring the kids to a better understanding about Christmas not being just about the gifts and the toys that they would hopefully receive. Even though they are young and didn’t understand the whole picture they did get little pieces that they will eventually fit together as they age.
For the past several years I have really cut back on the gifts. I always had a little guilt, no matter how many gifts I bought, no matter how much I spent or didn’t spend, that nagging little thought that I never did enough. Then I realized that anything I could give would never be enough nor would I ever be able to give a perfect gift.
How can we ever give enough? How can we ever give the perfect gift? We can’t. So this year I felt the best gift for my family would be to focus on the fact of that first gift, the only perfect gift. I wanted to give my children that understanding and help them to realize the true meaning of what Christmas is truly about. That’s a gift in itself.
This year we did have what may seem to be a lot of presents under our tree. (There was a total of 21?, I believe. And there was a dinosaur guarding the gifts so I guess that would be 22. Each child had one gift with their name on it to open. There are three little boys so there were three gifts marked as ‘boys’. There are two little girls which meant two gifts marked as ‘girls’. Then there were five gifts marked as ‘kids’, which were games and such that they could play together as a group or we could use as a family. So, in total, each child got to open three different gifts. Each of those gifts was something that I knew would be very special to them and that they would enjoy.
Then there was also one gift for each of the older children, two gifts for Momma (some aroma therapy oils and Baklava that I had ordered before), and grandpa had two gifts under the tree as well. Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces was gift enough for me. Seeing the excitement in their eyes as they opened the gifts and the happiness they shared with their siblings when seeing what each one had received is something that money cannot buy.
As for friends and family, everyone help to make candies and cookies to pass out. We did this as a family and the kids were all super excited to hand out the goodies we had made. This was lots of fun and it helped the kids to appreciate the time, effort, and love that goes into gift giving.
I know that there is always someone who tries to put a damper on the happiness and joy you feel. Someone who is never happy with what they have received. Someone who just can’t help but try to outdo everyone else. I want you to know that this is not anything you did and you have nothing to prove to that person.
All in all I feel blessed to have been with my family today. To see the smiles on their faces and the pure excitement as they open the gifts it didn’t matter if they had 3 gifts or 300 gifts they enjoyed each and every one of them that they received.
I feel that the best gift of all was the fact that we were able to prepare for this Christmas season, as a family, with our Advent study. We were able bring the focus back to the real reason of the season. This is a tradition that I plan on continuing with over the years to come, probably adding to it, and elaborating more on it as they get older. As they mature I plan on giving them more things to do like acts of kindness or maybe even throwing in some old-fashioned Christmas caroling as well.
I hope and pray that my kids will look back on this and be able to incorporate this into their own families when they get married, move away, and have children of their own. I want to create fond memories for them that they will cherish long after I’m gone. So please don’t let guilt or despair get you down. Remember what the real reason for the season is. Be merry, share your love, and enjoy your family and friends today.
Merry Christmas and God Bless!
Note: After I wrote this post we were blessed again. To read more about this please read: