Thursday, December 15, 2016


This is something I wish was going around at my house more often this Christmas. Gratitude. 

Lately, I've noticed my oldest acting "entitled." How did this happen? It's an attribute I've striven as a parent for my child NOT to cultivate. A enormous list of wants for presents under the tree from this non-believer who has Santa's cell phone number and can text him at will and whim. 

Where is the gratitude for what is already in her possession? Where is the willingness to share? Does she not know there are people without homes, food, and no hope of ever having a cell phone? That there are places in the world where instead of wanting their two front teeth, they'd rather have clean water in their town/village instead of hiking miles to get it, sometimes mulitiple times a day. How does she not see the bigger global picture? 

More importantly, how do I get her to see it? 

The other day she threw such a fit, the third in a series this week, that I was ready to tell Santa to unwrap the presents and send them back. No gifts this year. Perhaps that would shake her back to reality. But then, how do we explain that to the Believer in the house? Your older sibling was so naughty she didn't even rate coal, instead she got nothing? That wouldn't go over well and I have no wish to spend Christmas Day with a ticked off tween on the rant. 

Image result for images Simplify Christmas

I bought a sign a few years ago, it reads, "Simplify Christmas. Celebrate Christ." HE is what Christmas is supposed to be about. Not a jolly red man in a suit, or a castout reindeer with a shiny red nose, or even the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. (I really don't have any complaints with a Christmas Carol. Dickens message about caring for your fellowman is in line with Christ's teachings.) 

The season is about gratitude for God's Plan of Happiness and for Christ being born. It is about reflecting on HIS example and how we can make changes to become more like him. It is about sharing the joyful message, sharing HIS light, sharing what we have with those who are without. 

Yes, yes, you nod. That is all very well and good but you have nearly thirty years experience and maturity to draw on for your bigger picture perpsective. Your oldest child doesn't. 

True. And though I tell her about the sacrifices made on my behalf by my single mom and how I was aware of how much I learned about the cost and value of things which made me appreciate them, she doesn't get it. 

So, my question to you is, How do you help your child to cultivate gratitude and see the bigger picture, not just at this time of year, but all year long? What do you do to put HIM at the center of your life and your child's/children's lives? 

'Cause I'm all ears.

Otherwise, we might simplify Christmas next year to the point of no presents under the tree. 

Happy Holidays! May they be merry, bright, and full of light...and gratitude.  

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