I should probably clarify the title- I mean, it officially is now LESS than three months until Christmas. Is anyone else out there as horrified as I am at that thought?
Probably not- because most people do not have a houseful of children and most people are not like us crazy people and only buy our children ONE gift for Christmas. I mean Santa brings one, but that still only equals TWO gifts for Christmas. Which, x's 7 equals 14. Which is a lot, but not for seven children.
So I'm freaking out a bit today as I sit here in front of my computer perusing the "Toys of 2015" which are nothing more than a bunch of electronic CRAP that I refuse to buy mostly because-let's do the math here, 7 gifts x's 200 dollars each- Hmmmmmm......yep- 1400.00 Pretty sure the superhero hubs would remove my credit cards from my possession and fire me as grand marshal shopper of our family... (which might be worth it because every year I get stuck with getting all the Christmas gifts and coming up with gift ideas for some of my minions is rather difficult because they ask for things WE CAN'T AFFORD!!!!)
It's pouring down rain, too, so the mood is less than exciting, because let's face it, when it rains, like it's raining today, that soft, constant cool rain, all we really want to do is sleep. Which is what my two youngest ARE doing....
But I'm really trying to find meaningful gifts. I do that every year, not that this year is any different, but gifts they really like, and have special meaning to them AND are practical. (which is tough- cause practical gifts usually involve a package of undergarments..... just sayin').
I feel like becoming nostalgic this year and making a list of the gifts I want my children to receive for Christmas.
My list would look something like this:
1. Good friends.
My children do not have a large abundance of friends. I'm sure they could list people they talk to, or play with at school, or do superficial chit chat with through out the day, but as far as good friends go? I'm talking that friend you could share your deepest darkest secret crush to? The one you could split a milk shake with, hang with and say two words together and yet communicate so much more... My children don't have that. And it's my fault.
I struggle with that greatly.
My husband and I both do. We had good friends growing up. But for some reason, life was either simpler than, or we are just horrible parents because we have chosen to raise our children with their faith ingrained in their lives. Interwoven. So many "friends" that are out there look at my kids like they're strange- they don't dress the same, or wear the "latest fashion" (which is really getting on my nerves after ALL THESE DECADES....), they certainly don't listen to the same music- seriously parents- y'all NEED to listen to the lyrics your little angel is singing, it ain't pretty. They don't "date" which frankly, no kid should date- come on parents, dating is an act that is supposed to help you find your soulmate- ya think your 12 year old is ready for their soulmate? Yea, no....
Sorry- rant over- so good friends. That's gift idea #1.
2. Stronger Faith.
I tell my kids all the time they must trust God. And that's hard. Especially when we live in a culture that "seeing is believing" and having "faith" of any kind in God, or religion is actually made to be a sign of counterintelligence. 'Only the stupid oxen have religion' I remember reading. Since we live in a culture that loves to make you think YOU are a god and people should worship YOU, it's only fitting that once again, my children are left in the dark on this journey of life. I want them to believe strongly that there is something more beyond this world. That living in the "now" isn't always going to make you happy, but that there is something so much more joyful to come. It's really hard. Sometimes painfully hard, to see my kids struggle with right and wrong. And seeing their friends, or acquaintances, do whatever and not have any worries about sin or forgiveness, or responsibility for that matter... Faith, and more of it, would give them the confidence in what they profess every Sunday.
3. Love in abundance
My kids have two parents who love them fiercely. Madly if you will. But they also have two parents who yell a lot. There are excuses we could give- it's loud in the house, people don't listen, some are upstairs, some are downstairs, but really the only thing we have to blame is ourselves. We yell and in turn, we are teaching our children to yell. I want them to speak with love. I want to give them so much love that they share that love with one another. I'm always the first to say they would treat a total stranger with better care than their own siblings. Which I could say about myself and them as well. But love. Abundant love. I want that for them.
4. A dislike of materialism
I'm afraid to say it, but my children are already, even though we limit so much with them, becoming materialistic to an extent. Unfortunately some of it is our fault, but some of it is completely out of our hands. They see things at school, children with the latest greatest gadgets and clothing and shoes and they "have to have it." They are forced to have electronic devices of some type to keep up online with their classes. (that one really bugs me) and therefore seeing all they have access to and "need." It's disheartening. I want them to just enjoy the world. To be able on a sunny day to just sit outside. Soak in the sunshine. Ride their bikes. Take a walk. Play with a younger sibling outside.
These are just a few of the "gifts" I'd like to "buy" my kids. I am feeling rather melancholy and hopefully this rain will pass on and the sun will come back out, but until then- it IS less than three months until Christmas.