Don’t go Black Friday shopping just yet…
Like most other adults I come in contact with day-to-day, I live in a rather normal suburbanite lifestyle. The main thread of duplicity among us is that we live in excess.
Complete and utter excess.
Whether you drive a brand new, fancy car or an old beater, you still have a car. Whether you live in a single-family home, or an apartment complex, you still have a home. Whether you homeschool, send your kids to private school, or public school, your kids still have a school to attend. Whether you serve old school Kraft Mac-n-Cheese for dinner each night, or serve a four- course meal, you still have dinner.
These facts are certainly blessings, and I thank God for them every day, but as I look at my huge king size bed, knowing I have three other beds in my house alone, it makes me both grateful and sad. Sad that I complain about having to wash my sheets, swipe out the crumbs when the kids crawl in it with us eating popcorn or crackers (!), sad that I complain about making my bed on the RARE occasion I do.
And then when you see the sheer amount of “things” our kids have… it makes me… sad sometimes.
So last year, we made a big decision in our house. We had some rather big expenses (all blessings), but felt the need to pull back on the amount of money we spent on “Christmas”. We talked to our kids about this and they were in, with not a complaint among either of them. So when we told them recently we were AGAIN sticking to the same plan we had last year…. They were fine with it!
Here’s what we did/do: We only spend $50 a piece on our kids under the tree. You read that right- $50. NOW I know some families do not have even $50 to spend on their kids at Christmas, and I urge those of you who DO to reach out to your local charitable organizations to GIVE to them, blessing another family. BUT it’s my feeling most of you reading this spend more on your children than $50 at Christmas.
Now, full disclosure, my kids are still visited by Santa, BUT Santa doesn’t spend that much either!! And guess what? Last year, my kids would tell you they had the best Christmas, and received everything they wanted. See- God’s amazing like that. Between grandparents and family members, they were blessed with a wonderful Christmas!
This short note isn’t to condemn those of you who freely spend tons of money on your kids. As parents, that is our natural instinct- to make them feel happy and special. What I do hope this short note does is get you thinking…. Could you possibly spend less this year? If you did would your kids even notice? If they noticed, is that a good thing because maybe they need a little less excess in their lives? Could you spend the same amount of money you budgeted, but give some of that money to a charitable organization? Could you take your kids to the store with you and have THEM pick out gifts to give away??
I promise you it will feel really good if you do!
Comment below and let me know your thoughts! What tradition of giving does your family already have? What will you change this year??