Now this rule has not always been set securely in place my friend. I shudder as I remember a time when I wore the same frantic wide eyed empty stare of the forlorn shoppers today. A time when I too carried the heavy burden of finding the perfect gifts and lots of them.
When our son was three he had his first "big" Christmas, and it was AWFUL. I watched as my normally polite and thankful child turned into someone I didn't even recognize. He tore into package after package caring less and less about each thing he opened. Each new and marvelous toy left him wanting, unsatisfied, and craving for more. When he was done and the flurry of paper settled on the floor my heart felt empty. That year I vowed that Christmas would never again be about the "stuff" but it would be focused on the Savior.
I thought I'd give you a little peak of what we do now and maybe challenge you to look at Christmas a little differently this year.
Check out our super cool stacked snowman present! (Please don't give me credit for the amazing idea, I found it on Pinterest!) Isn't he cute? No no, not that the little guy in red…the snowman! Haha! Isn't it awesome??? Three simple presents wrapped in white paper stacked like a snowman! I love it, and so does my son! It is so fun and easy to do. So here's the rule for the gifts....
Gift #1- Something to read
Gift #2- Something to wear
Gift #3- Something for Fun!
We also add a hat, scarf, and gloves to ours that he can wear. If you live somewhere warm add a beach towel, sun glasses, flip flops, etc. Get CREATIVE! Make it memorable.
I love snow, it’s beautiful, but I love what snow represents to me even more! The Bible says “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7b) I love the picture of my dirty sin filled heart being purified clean by His cleansing blood. God can take the hardest heart bent towards evil and melt it with His perfect love. So for my family the symbolism that the snowman brings has an extra special meaning.
Over the years I've had many people ask what we do for Christmas. It's funny to see their reactions, especially from those who are actually saddened that my son only receives three gifts. Awww Only 3…
So I want to respond to that.
I think it's really sad to see kids tear into piles and piles of presents on Christmas day. It breaks my heart actually. Do kids really need more stuff? More cheap plastic toys to get buried in a closet somewhere? Or maybe more electronics to distance us further and have us spend more time ALONE than with each other? And what about greed…have we trained our children to always want more? When is enough ENOUGH??? We live in a “selfie” society that is actually inducing the human condition known as entitlement. It must stop somewhere.
And...Aren't you sick of the race? The stressful search for the perfect present? Ick...I am.
My kid has everything he needs. Literally...everything. The ONLY thing he really needs is more quality time with Mommy and Daddy. Actually, he desperately needs more of our time. More of us INVESTING in who he is and who he is to become. He needs more of our undivided attention instead of us asking him to be patient just a little bit longer because Mommy and Daddy are busy with really "important" things.
I want to raise my son to be Godly, kind, loving, and unselfish. I feel like a HUGE failure most days. Don't we all? Don’t you ever have days when you think "Wow, I'm totally messing this parenting gig up!" Whew…I sure do!
The very best GIFT I can ever give my son before leaving this earth is to show him how to passionately love and follow hard after Jesus. In order to do this "I" need to be the example...I do. Who else is going to be the example for him? I want him to have a real relationship with a REAL God, not the "churchy" Jesus is the reason blah blah religious rhetoric surface Christianity that so many of us have while we go about on our own merry little selfish ways.
Listen, God knew we would fail, I fail miserably every day. He knew we would all be selfish sinners in desperate need of a Savior. God gave us the greatest gift anyone could ever give when He sent his Son to be born in a manger. And shouldn't we get so excited by His awesome gift that it trumps ALL other gifts anyway? Everything else should pale in comparison to a living God.
And how was this Holy baby celebrated? How? By THREE gifts! Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh were brought to Him by WISE-men. They were Wise! Oh God help me to be wise! Help me to lead and love my son and others to you in this selfie sin stained world.
This year I am challenged to give LESS of the world away and MORE of Jesus away. Want to join me? I’d LOVE to start a three gift snowman trend! I’d love to see your snowman gift pictures or hear of how you and your family make Jesus the center of your celebration!
This year I challenge YOU to get rid of the stuff and be satisfied with the SAVIOR! He is more than enough!