December 4, 2014

Cancelling Christmas???

I just finished reading a blog post at Over the Big Moon, written by a mom who has decided, with her husband, not to give Christmas gifts to her children this year because of their entitled, ungrateful, disrespectful behavior.
You can find the post here, and I would highly recommend reading it.

Before I go any further, I want to say:
1. I believe that their intentions are good, very good.
2. The acts of service they are doing with their children instead of presents for Christmas are wonderful.
3. These are obviously parents who are not intimidated by their children. They are willing to make difficult decisions in order to raise good children, and they stand their ground once the decision is made. The world needs more parents who will lovingly set and enforce boundaries.

Also, I've heard parents, grandparents, even teachers, threaten something along the lines of "If you're not good Santa won't bring you any presents" hundreds of times. Every kid knows this is an empty threat, well every kid but these kids, because of all those times this is the first time I've actually heard of that threat being followed through.

However, even with all the things I think are good coming from this decision, I still disagree with the concept.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16

We didn't deserve him. We make bad choices, we make mistakes, we sin intentionally and accidentally. We yell, we gossip, we criticize, we lie just a little, we are unforgiving, we are unrepentant. We are negative and complaining instead of comforting and uplifting. We don't remember to thank our Father often enough. We are imperfect (at best).

Luke 2:7-11
7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Despite our ungratefulness, our poor choices, our sense of entitlement, our lack of respect, our Father gave the gift of our Savior, the gift of Christ.

We didn't deserve it.

Hopefully we are trying to better ourselves, perfect ourselves. Hopefully we are being a good example to our children; an example of gratitude, of apologizing, of repenting, and of forgiving.

I give my children Christmas gifts because they are my children. Because I love them. Because it's symbolic of the gift our Father gave to us. 
Gifts do not have to be numerous, expensive, or store-bought.
They can be inexpensive, simple, second-hand, or handmade.

As parents, we have chosen to keep Christmas small in order to keep our focus on the Savior.
We hope that this will help our children learn to curb their desires, and to be more grateful for the few gifts they receive.

As difficult as it is to not be able to give children all the things they want, it can be just as difficult to choose not to give them everything you can afford. 
I don't think that choosing to go without gifts at Christmas in order to give more service is a bad idea, but I feel that it should be a decision made together, not a punishment.
 Share The Gift
Share the Gift