Every year I’m determined to make “this year different”. I start out the season wanting to focus our celebration on Jesus. It never fails that I over-buy and over-stress and lose Jesus somewhere around December 21.
It’s hard to be an adult and meet all your children’s whims. It’s hard to force Jesus on my children when the infomercials are running 24 hours a day. It’s hard when they are little and I want them to have the wonder and magic that Santa and the elf were to me. (Well, maybe not the dreaded Elf…)
I have been waiting for my youngest to come to grips with the truth of Santa (and all his other make-believe/make-momma-work friends…. I’m looking at you tooth fairy!)
My oldest figured it out way too soon. He came right out and asked me about Santa on a random Tuesday in the car. Since I told him I would always tell him the truth, I answered the question. I watched as he figured out what “mommy being Santa” really meant and how that translated to all other “magical” fairies and bunnies.
It was so sad and liberating. He was smart and growing and wasn’t the last kid to believe. To my delight, he decided to take on the duties of the elf moving that Christmas.
The wonder of Santa has lost his appeal to me. I’m over the Elf. I’m ready to have a real-about-Jesus holiday.
I feel like this transition opens up a new world of opportunities and traditions where we no longer eagerly awaken at 5:00 am on Christmas morning and I’m not spending hours wrapping and another hour cleaning once we’ve opened all the gifts from Santa.
We are transitioning to the “Five Gifts” concept. I originally thought we’d do three gifts since that’s how many Jesus got the first Christmas. That feels too limiting to me and gives me a little more room as I transition my Christmas habits.
Here are the 5 categories:
- Something you WANT: because it is Christmas after all and those infomercials won’t stop just because our family is focusing on Jesus. (My middles are requesting laptops… they must be new to this family to think we “go big”.)
- Something you NEED: this could probably rival the “want” category but it can also cover replacing the beanbag chair that’s fallen flat over time (or at least the stuffing to revive the flat one).
- Something to WEAR: preferably not more athletic shorts and t-shirts but maybe a new hoodie (since they refuse to wear jackets even when it’s 40 degrees outside).
- Something to READ: this is my favorite category and is so hard because we read so much. If you need a few ideas, here are a few of the series we have enjoyed: Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins of the Hunger Game Series, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell, or The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey ….to name a few.
- Something to DO: because they can be fun to hang out with. This can be the family ski-trip or camping adventure. This can also be Mavericks/Stars/Cowboys/Rangers tickets. This can be monthly movie passes or bowling dates. In our season, the minutes I get driving them to and from activities are critical. This may be more of a gift for me!
I’m not planning on taking any JOY from my kids. I’m just looking forward to a little self-control in our celebrating.