What’s the meaning of Christmas? I know the real answer and the sad truth. How the meaning of Christmas has changed since I had kids.
As a kid, I lied to myself every year about what Christmas meant to me. I’d been taught about Jesus’ birth and there were a few years I requested setting up a manger scene instead of a tree. My parents never did it, though. The truth was, though, I really cared about the presents.
All the cool presents.
Mom was a penny pincher. Dad was the spender. Most years, dad way overspent, despite the fact they weren’t always doing well financially.
I still remember having a pile of presents nearly every year and thinking “man, is that all?!” I’d sometimes hope they had something huge waiting for us outside. I’d get a pang of disappointment when I realized there was nothing more to be opened. Then, I’d put on a smile and thank my parents profusely.
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit how ungrateful or insensitive to our family’s financial struggles I was at the time.
How The Meaning of Christmas Has Changed Since I Had Kids
Fast forward to now. My 6 year old has been showing her dissatisfaction with the quantity of gifts for a couple years. And her attitude toward gift gifting events has completely changed the meaning of Christmas for me.
We’ve been lucky to be financially blessed since my husband allowed me to become a stay at home mom. It’s as though the universe favored his sacrifice and sought to reward my husband in the job department. Because of which, our children have been more than blessed.
Add to that, grandparents love to spoil their grand-babies.
So, the kids never need. And, in my mind, certainly have nothing to desire.
But, I’m apparently wrong.
Last year, my daughter belted out “Is that all? I want more” after opening all the gifts she received from her PaPaw. My mouth dropped. This was after she’d already grumbled about wanting more when she was done opening gifts from her parents. And, we’d already had the discussion about being thankful for whatever it is we get and that we didn’t want to hear anything about wanting more.
Obviously, we have to work on her lack of tact and teaching her to be grateful.
So, this year we decided to follow the 4 gift Christmas Challenge which goes as follows:
Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
Something to read
Now, we’ve already did this for her birthday, so it’s nothing new. And I actually found myself struggling more to restrict myself than she appeared to struggle with not having. I sensed some disappointment, but I think it was a wake up call for her. And this Christmas should be no different.
I think I’ll still struggle with wanting to do more, even though she’ll have a large bag of clothes and a heavy box of books. I’m trying to decide how I want to pitch the idea that Santa still needs to bring a nice gift. And, I still want to request that we add an experience gift.
Has the meaning of Christmas changed since I had kids?
I think I’m realizing I’m still struggling with the meaning of Christmas. Except that instead of wanting more for myself, I want more for my kids. So, I wouldn’t say the meaning of Christmas has “changed”, rather shifted. And I still have tons of work to do to teach an attitude of gratitude by modeling it!
Hey, at least I’m honest about it, right?!
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