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My Christmas List

November 15, 2010

Anyone with young children knows it is almost time for Christmas when every single commercial on Nickelodeon or the cartoon network is for a toy.  And for those without any youngters at home, you have the enormous Christmas displays that have been up for over two months now and glossy store ads full of the latest “must-have” gadgets and appliances and apparel.  It is really hard not to get all caught up in the whole holiday spending frenzy and forget about the real meaning of Christmas.

I’m not going to get all preachy on you, because I realize Christmas is a very important cultural event both in America and all over the world.  And I’m not going to lie, I love seeing all the Christmas displays and making gingerbread houses and eating my body weight in fudge and cookies.  But in these hard economic times, it is hard for me to rationalize buying a 46” LCD tv for the amazing sale price of only $797.99I realize everyone has the right to spend their hard-earned money on whatever they so chose.  I can no longer be one of those people.  I don’t have an extra $800 laying around to pay for a new tv, but even if I did, I think I’d be better off leaving that money right where it was:  in my bank account.  To have it there when I need it in the future–since no one is really immune to loss of income–or to be able to help out those in need. 

There are so many things I wish I had right now, like new curtains, new furniture, a new laptop; but that’s exactly what they are, “things.”  Things I wouldn’t think twice about if my house burnt down next week.  Most of the things I really want have to do with me getting healthy–a gift to myself and my long-term health.  I’d rather invest a couple extra dollars here and there on me staying at a healthy weight and fueling my body with healthy meals to save on my healthcare costs in the future–which costs this country millions, if not billions, of dollars every year.

But I digress.  I think we can all agree about one thing when it comes to Christmas–it isn’t about getting things, it is about giving them.  I really do not want anything  for Christmas (besides maybe little practical things that I will use every day but I will be grateful for anything anyone gives me) besides one thing.  I want my children to learn this very important lesson.  I don’t want to sit in my living room, surrounded by mounds of torn wrapping paper, having them ask where their next gift is.  I want them to get just as excited about giving to others.  Whether it be to a nursing home resident who doesn’t have any friends or family, to a soldier overseas, or to a less-fortunate child, I want my children to learn the importance of paying it forward

I’m not naive enough to believe this will happen this year.  They are only 4 and 22 months, after all.  But I can start planting the seeds with them.  This year I am going to have them with me in the kitchen while we make special Christmas treats to give away to others, and have them color Christmas cards to hand out at my local nursing home.  They will begin to understand the pride of making something special and giving it away and putting a smile on someone else’s face.  And that, my friends, is the best Christmas present I could ever get.

What do you want for Christmas?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ann McMullen permalink
    November 15, 2010 7:02 pm

    We all have everything we need, if we just take a moment and appreciate it. Addie and I have adopted 2 kids this year, to give gifts to, Santas helpers. I want her to understand, even at 13, she has everything she needs. But, there are others out there who would love to have a clean pair of socks, a game to play, thinks we all take for granted. I, also, need nothing for Christmas! It is about giving to others with a grateful heart.

    • November 15, 2010 7:41 pm

      Addie has a lot more than I had at her age…heck, probably even more than I have now! lol I loved doing the Operation Christmas child boxes last year. Those kids just want the simplest things–toothpaste, soap, little toys.

  2. November 15, 2010 7:29 pm

    Very well said Tangy! Just the other day Habitat for Humanity was at our local grocery store selling raffle tickets. Neither of the men approached us as we walked in but I noticed them. I told Shaun I wanted to make a donation on the way out and I did. Though I was saddened to see their jar was empty when I put my money in. The guy asked me how many raffle tickets I would like and I replied none and that I just wanted to make a donation. When we were walking to the car Kiley asked me why did I give them money? I told her it was to help those who couldn’t afford a house and if we were in their shoes we could only hope that someone would do the same for us. I think these days people tend to forget about the giving(not in the material sense) and are all about the getting.

  3. November 15, 2010 10:03 pm

    All Christmas shopping does is stress me out. The marketing aspect of it is a little out of control for sure. For me, I love the baking and general “mood” Christmas brings. And I prefer to pass along that spirit in baked goods and holiday cards written from the heart. 🙂

    • November 16, 2010 6:55 pm

      I love that aspect of Christmas as well! There is just something in the air 🙂

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