Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tis the Season...

This season is amazing! It can be one of the greatest opportunities to give to others, spend real quality time with loved ones, & just relax & really enjoy life. OR it can be an extremely self absorbed holiday focused on ME ME ME, so commercialized, & over the top stressful. The good thing is, its up to us to decide which one it is going to be & which way we are going to teach our kids to focus on.
Aidann & Asher are absolutely fascinated by Christmas lights, they think they are the best thing ever. Last year Aidann just started saying "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" every time they saw them. This year has been pretty much the same. The other night while driving home Aidann had an epiphany. "Mommy, Jesus' birthday is coming soon, right?". "Yes", I replied. And in a genuinely concerned voice she asked, "Well, who is going to make his birthday cake?". Before I could even concoct any type of reply, she suddenly concluded, "I could make it for him. I think he would like a chocolate 1 the best & I could help him eat it". I thought that was the cutest conclusion ever from my birthday obsessed toddler.Whether you & your family choose to focus on the spiritual side of Christmas is obviously up to you, but I do think we all can make a genuine effort to shift our kids focus more towards others & giving rather than just being concerned about themselves & what they are going to get.
It is definitely going to be an uphill battle I assure you. Every store you walk into constantly screaming at kids "You gotta have me!", toy commercials galore between so many children's show talking about "All I want for Christmas" & so much more. The other day Aidann heard some kids talking about how long their Christmas lists were. She didn't quite understand what they meant & so she asked me about it. I told her how some kids make lists about all the things they want for Christmas but suggested that instead we could make a list about what she wanted to get other people this year. She really seemed to like the idea.
I think some really good ways to counteract some of the negativity & self-focus  that goes on during this time is to maybe find a family you know in need of something & get your kids involved in shopping for that gift, wrapping it, & giving it to them. Maybe if you do not know someone personally, you can let your kids pick angel off one of those trees you usually find in the mall. Maybe have them pick someone close to their own age & explain how ever though we are blessed & get gifts on Christmas & our birthdays, some kids don't. Your kids probably have tons of friends & buying them all something might be a lot to take on, so instead you could have your kids decorate cards or make cookies for some families your close with just to help them focus on some besides themselves for a bit.
In high school I had my first opportunity to visit a soup kitchen. My parents always raised me to focus on others & be really into giving, but its so much different when you actually see it up close & personal. Obviously, this act of service is better to do with older kids, but it is extremely impacting. Food drives are great to get involved with or just cooking an extra ham or something to drop off at someones house.This season, as well as all year round of course, is also an excellent time to just spend time with the family & friends that mean a lot to you. Just having a game night or going out to enjoy all the Christmas activities available during this time are also great ways to shift your children's focus on people rather than things.
This holiday can really be turned into something great if we are willing to just put the work in. I am not saying our kids deserve nothing for Christmas, absolutely not. We just need to realize that our kids are going to be looking to us (our attitudes, actions, words, focus) in order to decide what their focus needs to be on during this holiday season. We are their ultimate examples.
-M&M Momma
Eating their lil' lunches
Watching the animals

Laughing about the monkey's blue bottoms

Anyone seen a goat around here?

Best pearl ever!


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