“I want, I want, I want……oh, and I want this too!”
Moms, you get this. It is SO easy for our kids to become a little too “gimme” focused this time of year, and to a large degree it’s understandable! They are excited! They get to ask for gifts they don’t normally receive, and the anticipation of Christmas is incomparable to most other experiences in their little lives. Yet, all this excitement can easily lead to The Focus On The List. The List becomes the central expectation, the hope, the culmination of Christmas Day.
What is Christmas?
Christmas is our response to God’s gift to us of His Son, and we give gifts to others in celebration and imitation of that love shown to us by God.
I have made it my mission the last several years to “reset” the true meaning of Christmas before the season even starts. It’s like a re-wiring, so that when the media barrage starts, it sort of pings off my kids instead of seeping into their little bones. We do this in several ways, and I have shared those in past year’s blog. Of course, our sweet Charlie Brown Christmas tree that stands in our family room seems to bulge with gifts as Christmas Day arrives, and the gift opening is joyous and wonderful, but I know (hope!) that deep inside, my kids understand it’s about more than this frenzied unwrapping of The List.
I just read a post on Facebook from my dear friend Wendy Edwards as to how she is hoping to set her kids up for the excitement of gifts while helping them to see the bigger picture of Christmas and I loved it! With her permission granted, I would love to share her ideas with you:
POST TITLE: GUIDANCE FOR HER CHILDREN’S WISH LISTS
“Offering the children the Christmas wish list guideline again this year…their lists are always insightful…and sometimes really, really funny!”
Something you want, something you need,
Something to wear, something to read.
And something to share, for a girl or a boy,
A ball, a book, a game, or a toy,
To give to another, Christmas joy!
(Amy jumping in here…I asked Wendy how she implemented this list, and combined it with the scriptures below. She said the above saying helped her children focus their list and keep it simple. It created a framework that reduced excess. The scriptures below were shared with the kids over the course of a week or two, so that they wrapped themselves around the physical list for perspective. They teach that even though we all love giving and receiving gifts we can hold and touch, there is a bigger picture and a heart attitude we can all enter the Christmas season knowing).
Here are the scriptures that go with the passage above:
SOMETHING YOU WANT (His provision is abundant, beyond our needs)
I Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
SOMETHING YOU NEED (His omniscience He knows our need)
33 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
SOMETHING TO WEAR (His provision/spiritual clothes)
Matthew 6:28-30 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith?
Ephesians 6:13-16 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
SOMETHING TO READ (His word)
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:105 Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.
Psalm 119:45-47 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for I delight in your commands because I love them.
SOMETHING TO SHARE (the blessing in giving, and for the last one– in receiving )
II Cor 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
So, I hope this helped you as it helped me this year. Instead of The List becoming the central hope, expectation, and culmination, let it be Jesus!Blessings to you during this Christmas season!