Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Without Getting

I have contemplated this many times in years past. The main reason being is that we never have money for buying the kids' presents until a few days before Christmas. My Daddy and my Granny have sent us money for the last few years, but it isn't something I count on. This year is no different, we have no money...literally. the van needs new tires so it can pass inspection, the electricity is over due, rent needs to be paid (still) and Mike's car died last week so he has been taking the van to school every day.....with an over due inspection sticker. (Can we pray for protection when we are breaking the law?) I would not spend Christmas money from loved ones on these things, but I could and be justified...maybe.
This has been our predicament during Christmas for three years in a row now. (Ahhhh....the life of a student). Every year, we get a check in the mail and then rush around for three days gathering gifts for the children. But.....what if we didn't get a check? What if we had Christmas without getting? What if we just focused on the Savior, gave what we could to others, made things out of what we can find around the house (that won't be should see my craft corner in my bedroom) or simply gave of ourselves. What if we captured the Christmas spirit by doing little acts of kindness for each other without the recipient knowing? What if we thought nothing of ourselves and only served others? Things like shoveling someones sidewalk, caroling to someone lonely, cookies to grumpy old Mr. McGlaughlin up the street, giving a haircut to someone who can't afford one? As soon as school is out for Mike, we are hitting the streets on a secret service mission.
For some reason, I always let the gift buying for my children get in the way of all of these things that I love to do. I get so caught up in the "there has to be many, many presents under the tree" ideal that I feel bound to. That's how it was when I was a kid. Not this year. We will serve others and it will be a Christmas to remember. I have always wanted to have a Christmas without getting. I want the experience of letting the true meaning of Christmas not be drowned out by Santa. It is hard for me to mix them well. In some ways, not having money is a blessing. I don't want the kids to be disappointed (I am not a mean Mom), but I don't want them to have the "gimme" disease either.
Now if I just don't get that check in the mail, I will be able to keep my resolve. If we do, the kids bank accounts will grow with the left over money after buying them one gift each.
Balance is what I am striving always.


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