This is what they remember!
~~~I promise you that Iâ€™m a good mom. I love my kids to DEATH!! But I admit they are just a teeny bit spoiled, and last Christmas they drove me crazy with the â€œI want thisâ€¦â€, â€œI want thatâ€¦â€! Ughhh! I want to give them everything, but I want them to have a little perspective too. So when the I-wantâ€™s got to be too much, I made them look at this website. The photography is incredibleâ€¦ the subject matter is not for the weak at heart. It brought all three kids to tears, and they didnâ€™t ask for a single thing after that. I felt bad, but it was worth it. Once they saw how other children live in other parts of the world, they immediately began to appreciate how we live here. It gave Christmas a whole new meaning to them. Ahhhh, perspective! Itâ€™s a beautiful thing.
The above quote came from Chantal Stone’s blog and her post, Off-topic Randomness. This time of year seems to be natural for gaining perspective and for us, like Chantal, to want our children, if we have any, to be appreciative of what they have or get for Christmas, or at any other time of the year.
If you look at it, it’s really the journey, or the chase that is exciting for them. They want, they want, they want, yet, when they receive, they are happy but for a moment in time, and then a new list begins. It’s the same for most things, it seems, the journey is the fulfilling part, the destination, or goal is mostly anticlimactic.
In looking back through the years, we see that as a family, our Christmas celebrations have changed. No, we are not Christians, but still celebrate the thought and spirit of the holiday, of giving, sharing, and loving. For a few years, we adopted a family each year and bought presents for them and, if the situation warranted it, we took to their homes. That was when we attended a church, now we try to help out through the year with donations of money or clothes, but it is not so enjoyable as the direct contact.
As our children grow older, we start to downsize in all sorts of ways. We’ve already downsized our house once and are talking about doing it again when Tony graduates. We have also greatly downsized our Christmas expenditures. Now, we only buy gifts for the kids, Tony, Pedro, nieces, and nephews. Every one gets gift cards so they can get what they want. So the entire hassle of trying to figure out who wants what, run to the mall, order online, etc. has been eliminated and guess what, everyone is still happy.
Don’t forget the grandparents!
This year, the bulk of our expenditures will be on plane fair. We are headed to Dallas to spend 10 days with friends and relatives. I will be spending the entire time at my good friend Richard’s house. Last year, we did something similar, but we spent our Christmas at the beach. Each year is becoming less about gifts and hassle and more about spending great times with friends and family.
When we lived in Texas we had a pretty big house and every Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration was held at our house. People would arrive the day before and stay the night and all of the next day. This year, the kids told us that they missed that celebration and wanted to have such a party this year since we were coming to Dallas. Since we left, they haven’t done it. So, the party is on! I’m looking forward to it. It won’t be hosted at our house, of course, but we will be there to carry on a tradition. Notice what the kids remembered. They couldn’t tell you one gift that they received, but they will always carry the memories of those sleepovers and they fun that they had on Christmas Eve and Christmas day with their friends and family.
In the end, isn’t family, friends, love, and togetherness what it’s all about? It’s all that I remember from my childhood, save for one or two toys that I really liked.
About the picture: These are some pictures from our last Christmas in Dallas, Christmas 2003. We moved away in June of 2004; however, we are going back this year to continue on the tradition. I think that perhaps next year’s present to all will be a collage of this year’s festivities … hmmm.